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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 9, Ch. XXI–Reports.



February 1-September 20, 1862.


Feb.-, 1862.–The Confederate forces enter New Mexico.
11-13, 1862.–Operations at Aransas Pass, Tex.
21, 1862.–Engagement at Valverde, N. Mex.
22, 1862.–Engagement in Aransas Bay, Tex.
Mar.2, 1862.–Albuquerque, N. Mex., abandoned by the Union forces.
3, 1862.–Capture of Cubero, N. Mex.
4, 1862.–Santa Fé, N. Mex., abandoned by the Union forces.
26, 1862.–Skirmish at Apache Cañon, N. Mex.
28, 1862.–Engagement at Glorieta, or Pigeon’s Ranch, N. Mex.
April5-6, 1862.–Affair at San Luis Pass, Tex.
8, 1862.–Skirmish at Albuquerque, N. Mex.
13-22, 1862.–Pursuit of the Confederate forces, including skirmish at Peralta, N. Mex., April 15.
13-Sept 20, 1862.–Expedition from Southern California, through Arizona, to Northwestern Texas and New Mexico.
15, 1862.–Skirmish at Peralta,N. Mex.
Skirmish at Picacho Pass, Ariz
22, 1862.–Capture of Union launches in Aransas Bay, Tex.
25, 1862.–Affair at Socorro, N. Mex.
May15, 1862.–Naval demonstration upon Galveston, Tex.
20, 1862.–Tucson, Ariz., occupied by Union forces.
21, 1862.–Affair at Paraje, N. Mex.
23, 1862.–Affair near Fort Craig, N. Mex.
26, 1862.–Texas embraced in Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department.
30, 1862.–Martial law proclaimed in Texas.
June8, 1862.–Martial law proclaimed in Arizona.
18, 1862.–Brig. Gen. Paul O. Hébert, C. S. Army, assumes command of the District of Texas.
July4, 1862.–Attack on United States vessels near Velasco, Tex.
7-17, 1862.–Operations in Aransas Bay, Tex.
15, 1862.–Skirmish at Apache Pass, Ariz.
Aug.10, 1862.–Affair on the Nueces River, near Fort Clark, Tex.
11, 1862.–Affair at Velasco, Tex.
12, 1862.–Capture of the Breaker and destruction of the Hannah in Corpus Christi Bay, Tex.
16-18, 1862.–Bombardment of Corpus Christi, Tex.
20, 1862.–Texas and Arizona embraced in Trans-Mississippi Department.
Sept.-, 1862.–Proclamation declaring martial law in Texas annulled.
13-14, 1862.–Operations at Flour Bluffs, Tex.
18, 1862.–Brig. Gen. James H. Carleton, U. S. Army, supersedes Brig. Gen. E. R. S. Canby in command of the Department of New Mexico.

FEBRUARY 11-13, 1862.–Operations at Aransas Pass, Tex.


No. 1.–Maj. C. G. Forshey, C. S. Army, Engineer of Coast Defenses.
No. 2.–Maj. Daniel D. Shea, C. S. Army, commanding Battalion of Artillery.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. C. G. Forshey, C. S. Army, Engineer of Coast Defenses.


MAJOR: As this command does not report directly to headquarters, at Houston, I take the liberty to report the matters of much interest transpiring on this portion of the coast. The bark reported to you in my letter of the 5th took her position at Aransas Pass, and, landing in two boats her small parties of 20 or 30 men, scared off, it would appear, the companies posted there, assumed many liberties, took beef and mutton at their pleasure, burned several houses, shelled the neighboring islands and sand hills in the moorings, to test the presence of a possible rebel arrival during the night, and made themselves at home there.

Major Shea, with detachment of mounted men, went to Aransas, arriving stealthily, with a hope of capturing the party and relieving the citizens from their great annoyance and peril. In this he was not successful. His presence was discovered, and the commander of the bark Afton came into the Pass with three boats and 28 men, out of range of rifles, his splendid rifled guns from the ship shelling the village and Major Shea’s command quite across the island. Major Shea protected his men as well as possible in rear of the sand mounds and avoided any serious casualty, though their well-directed shells (thrown directly, and not as from mortars) burst over their heads several times. At a signal from the boats his guns ceased firing, a flag of truce was sent ashore, and a parley asked with Major Shea.

The commander then came up and held a long and quite communicative interview with the major; wished to send letters and packages from his prisoners, taken on the McNeill (already reported by me as captured near this pass), to their families; delivered the letters to Judge Talbot’s family and others residing in the vicinity; said the prisoners were well and kindly treated, messing at his table, &c. He informed the major that he was well informed of all the defenses, could reach the whole coast with his guns, but was not there to fight, but to stop the trade he saw running by the Pass, and that he would do; that his ship could enter that Pass, and he intended to command it and the bays within; would have the small vessels for the important purposes he had in view, with many other saucy remarks needless to relate. The most mortifying remark, however, was that “if Texans were like those he had seen run away on his approach his handful of men could whip five hundred of them.”

Major Shea told him that he did not command those men, in answer to the question, but would offer to fight him then, man for man, on shore, and would thank him for the opportunity. He told him, further, that his profession that “he did not want to hurt the people or their property” was belied by the bombardment of the village, with women and children, burning houses &c.


Major Shea left Aransas early yesterday morning and returned with his command at 3 p.m. to-day. He reports to Colonel Garland, and sends a messenger at once for advice as to what steps are next to be taken, if any, to protect the interests at stake. As he came up the large schooner that passed here yesterday was hugging the shore, apparently bound for Aransas, doubtless having supplies on board and perhaps forces. She was lined with surf-boats along her deck.

The light-house there, like this at Pass Cavallo, furnishes the enemy with many advantages. The line of trade for the present is destroyed. No boats will be allowed to pass below this point in future. I have been thus circumstantial, that you may lay before General Hébert the weakness of the forces and the defenses on this portion of the coast.

Very respectfully submitted.

C. G. FORSHEY, Major of Artillery and Engineer of Coast Defenses.

Maj. SAMUEL BOYER DAVIS, Assistant Adjutant-General, C. S. Prov. Army, Houston, Tex.


No. 2.

Report of Maj. Daniel D. Shea, C. S. Army, commanding Battalion of Artillery.


COLONEL: I have the honor to report to you the result of my excursion down the island and the information it furnished for the public service:

As already reported to you by Major Forshey, I took a detachment of mounted men, 32 in number, under Lieutenants Patton and Preston, and went down to Cedar Bayou, 35 miles, in hopes to capture the parties landing from the blockading bark Afton.

On my arrival there I learned that she was at Aransas Pass, and the citizens in great alarm from the precipitate retreat of Captain Neal’s command, the capture of the sloop that his pickets using, and the impudence of the enemy making his landings, getting such supplies as he chose, and reconnoitering the vicinity. I therefore pushed directly on to Aransas, and took a position on the rear of the island, remote as possible from the ship.

Immediately after my arrival it was reported that the crew were on Light-House Island, and that Captain Neal had landed a force of 200 men the night before on Mustang Island, and would attack them. I waited on the point of San Joseph’s Island with my force to act in concert with the party on the opposite side of the Pass; but when the enemy’s boats were going out of the harbor only about 6 men fired at them from the hills on Mustang. I perceived this mode of attack was attempted by a party of civilians, and not regular troops; therefore, I kept my party secreted. The enemy’s four boats, manned by only 28 men, passed out over the bar without sustaining any damage. I drew my party off to await the landing on San Joseph’s. They, however, returned to their ship.

Wednesday, 12th, the ship made sail and came to off Mustang Island about 10 a.m. and commenced shelling. I could not find a boat of any {p.484} character to cross me on the island. I intended to take command of Neal’s companies. The shelling from the ship ceased, when I succeeded in getting a boat. On approaching the land I discovered a house on fire (Mr. Clubb’s residence), and saw the sailors of the enemy on the island, and on closing up on the land they went into Mercer’s house and set it on fire. Then I was fully convinced that Captain Neal had vacated the island and that it was occupied by Lincoln. I turned back disgusted with the spirit of our men in that section, and immediately sent a letter to Neal’s camp, 10 miles on the main-land, demanding 50 volunteers. I had taken up a position out of sight of the ship with my cavalry detachment and watched the movements of the enemy.

Thursday, 13th, about 2 a.m., 22 men and 3 lieutenants reported to me. This small number was inadequate to carry out my plan of capturing the crew, and therefore kept them secreted on San Joseph’s Island, hoping the enemy would land. I had caused this detachment to be divided into two parties, one commanded by Lieutenant Conklin, stationed in Mercer’s store, at the head of his wharf; the other by Lieutenant Canfield, at the town. I drew off the cavalry from picket and secreted them in the town. All kept quiet.

About 1 o’clock three boats of the enemy started down towards the Pass with the intention to land at some point. I immediately disposed of my force to engage them when they should land. They came inside the Pass and continued to advance up Aransas Bay toward the town. When within 1,000 yards of my position the ship opened fire on us with shell. They were thrown with remarkable precision at a distance of 3 1/2 miles and bursted over our heads. I saw that I could not use my men mounted, and ordered the detachment to dismount, sent the horses to the rear; but the ship continued firing, the shells bursting in our midst. Some of the horses and 2 of the men were struck, but not wounded.

I saw no chance of engaging the boats from under the ship’s fire; the horses became unmanageable, and I ordered my men to fall back and take shelter close to the town; also the lieutenant and 10 men, of Neal’s command, I had secreted in the house that was bombarded by the enemy, to retreat toward the sand hill and concentrate close to the town, where I waited for the approach of the enemy in his boats. I expected he would land his force, and I could get a chance to engage him from under his ship’s fire. I expected he would fire the store and dwelling of Mr. Mercer, but he passed it and advanced toward my little force.

I was informed by the citizens that Captain Neal fell back in the presence of the enemy’s force, numbering only 28 men, and I expected this captain would follow up his former successes. He came within rifle-range and 3 men landed; the other two boats stood off. Immediately one of the three advanced with a white flag. Some of the citizens were at a short distance in the rear. I ordered one of them to ascertain what he wanted. I still hoped to draw him from under the fire of the ship. The person bearing the white flag stated that there were prisoners on board the ship, and wished to communicate with some persons on shore. The bearer of the white flag requested the citizens (Mr. Mercer and Captain Wells) to see the captain of the ship, who was on shore and near his boats. He (captain) asked who commanded, and they said I commanded. He asked if I would respect a white flag; he wished to see and speak with me, and one of the citizens, Captain Wells, came to me and delivered the message. I advanced toward him within 50 yards {p.485} and stood. He then came toward me and both advanced and met. He stated to me he did not come here to make war on women and children; he was sent to blockade this harbor, and he would carry out his orders. To which I replied that his causing to be destroyed the dwellings of Messrs. Mercer and Clubb, on Mustang Island, and killing of cattle and sheep, the property of inoffensive citizens, looked to me that his mode of warfare was of a promiscuous character. He said when he went on shore on Mustang Island he met Mr. Mercer’s son, and thought that Mercer and himself had understood each other. Mercer was one of the party that fired on his boat when passing out of Aransas Pass, and he was compelled to retaliate. He said he captured a schooner off Pass Cavallo. He sent some of the crew prisoners on the prize to New York. He had Judge Talbot and Captain Hopper and wife on his ship. He said they had the liberty of the ship and dined at his table.

The surgeon, white flag bearer, remarked that the captain had treated them kindly, and endeavored to make them feel easy on the vessel. The captain continued, and said he sent Captain Coffin to New York, and handed to me two letters and a package directed to Mrs. Smith, Coffin’s daughter, and a package from Judge Talbot, directed to George Bunkmark, at Matagorda. He requested me to say to Judge Talbot’s friends and relatives that the old gentleman was well, and he would intercede for his release with the commodore at Ship Island. The captain asked me if I commanded the troops on this island. I answered, “I command a detachment of cavalry.” The surgeon inquired if I commanded the troops on Mustang Island and vicinity. I said, “No, sir.” The captain remarked, “You perceive I can shell this island. I can hold and command this coast with my ship.” I said, “I perceive that, and we could not hold this portion of the coast, from the fact we had no ordnance here to defend it; but I would like to have the pleasure of meeting you on main-land or with equal numbers from under the fire of your ship.” He replied, “Let that be as it may; I admire your gallantry.” He inquired if the people on the coast would respect a white flag. I answered, “I presume they would; but the white flag was not respected on the Atlantic coast by his party.” He said he would not do any harm to citizens. He wanted fresh provisions occasionally, and would pay for what he would take. The surgeon remarked naively they only wished to come on shore and get some oysters and fish. The captain said he would come on shore again, and bring with him Judge Talbot’s trunk and some other packages and forward them to my care at Pass Cavallo. We bid each other adieu, and when at the distance of about 50 yards he called and asked if Captain Nichols still lived at Pass Cavallo. I answered, “Yes.” He asked if he was at home. I answered in the affirmative, and he then went on board his boat.

One of the boats had a mast rigged and signalized the ship when to open fire and when to cease. The surgeon stated to K. A. Mercer, jr., a few days previous, when they landed on Mustang Island, that he was a Texan and his name is Osborne. He is a large man, about forty-seven to fifty years old. The captain is a small, light man, sallow complexion, about thirty-five years old. He told Mercer he intended to break up the commerce now carried on through the bays, and he intends to go to Lamar, and would have the pilot schooner Twin Sisters. He is very anxious to capture small boats. He said he could take his ship to Lamar and his crew and boats could take Corpus Christi. He said two of the crew captured by him joined his ship; these, of course, have given him all the information he requires.

I must state that the captain is a brave and daring officer, and is {p.486} putting himself in the way of being captured by a small party of good men. If this man is not stopped immediately, before he can capture the small boats now in the lower bays and salt-works, he will command our whole western coast.

When returning from Aransas I saw a three-masted schooner sailing to the westward. I suppose her to be a supply vessel. She had launches slung along her sides and more men than a vessel of her class requires for her own purposes.

It gives me pleasure to testify to the good conduct of the whole party under my command, and specially to compliment Lieut. I. A. Patton and his detachment of Beaumont’s cavalry for their coolness and soldierly behavior under a heavy fire of shells. Lieutenant Conklin and a small party of Captain Neal’s command were also under the same fire and conducted themselves with commendable coolness.

I would close this communication by stating my conviction that nothing short of immediate and energetic action, under a prudent and skillful commander, can prevent the enemy from getting a foothold at Aransas and destroying the commerce of the bays, and thus rescue the vast interests at this moment periled in that region.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DAN. D. SHEA, Major, Prov. Army C. S., Comdg. Batt. Art., Pass Cavallo.

Col. R. E. GARLAND, C. S. Army, Comdg. Sixth Regiment Texas Infantry, Victoria, Tex.

P. S.-I forgot to embody in the above report that Capt. B. F. Neal reported to me about 60 men for duty on the morning after the parley with the commander of the blockading vessel. I had concluded to return to my post and lay before you the above report, in order to prepare a proper military force to protect our commerce west, and advised him to retire from the island.


FEBRUARY 21, 1862.–Engagement at Valverde, N. Mex.


No. 1.–Col. Edward R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, commanding Department of New Mexico.
No. 2.–Col. Benjamin S. Roberts, Fifth New Mexico Infantry.
No. 3.–Maj. Thomas Duncan, Third U. S. Cavalry, and resulting correspondence.
No. 4.–Col. Christopher Carson, First New Mexico Infantry.
No. 5.–Col. Miguel E. Pino, Second New Mexico Infantry.
No. 6.–Lieut. Col. José M. Valdez, Third New Mexico Infantry (mounted).
No. 7.–Findings of Court of Inquiry on conduct of Capt. R. S. C. Lord, First U. S. Cavalry.
No. 8.–Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley, C. S. Army, commanding Army of New Mexico, including operations from January - to May 4, 1862.
No. 9.–Maj. Charles L. Pyron, Second Texas Cavalry.
No. 10.–Lieut. Col. William R. Scurry, Fourth Texas Cavalry.
No. 11.–Maj. Henry W. Ragnet, Fourth Texas Cavalry.
No. 12.–Col. Thomas Green, Fifth Texas Cavalry.
No. 13.–Col. William Steele, Seventh Texas Cavalry.
No. 14.–Capt. Powhatan Jordan, Seventh Texas Cavalry.
No. 15.–Capt. Trevanion T. Teel, Texas Light Artillery.


No. 1.

Reports of Col. Edward R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, commanding Department of New Mexico.*

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, Fort Craig, N. Mex., February 22, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that a battle was fought yesterday at Valverde, a few miles above this place, between the Union troops under my command, and the Confederate force under General Sibley. The battle commenced at an early hour in the morning and was continued with unvarying success until about 5 o’clock in the evening, when, in a desperate charge of the Confederates, McRae’s battery was taken, the supporting party repulsed and thrown into confusion and driven from the field at the moment that success seemed certain. The battle was fought almost entirely by the regular troops (trebled in number by the Confederates), with no assistance from the militia and but little from the volunteers, who would not obey orders or obeyed them too late to be of any service. The immediate cause of the disaster was the refusal of one of the volunteer regiments to cross the river and support the left wing of the army.

The contemporary operations of the right wing were eminently successful, but the confusion produced by the loss of the battery could not be remedied in season to retrieve the fortunes of the day. The retreat was effected in good order and without further loss.

Under a flag the killed and wounded have been removed from the field and properly cared for. The absolute loss cannot yet be ascertained. It will probably reach 40 killed and 150 wounded, with perhaps a few prisoners.** Large numbers of the militia and volunteers have deserted, but this adds to rather than diminishes our strength. Among the killed are Captain McRae, Captain Bascom, and Lieutenant Mishler. Among the wounded, Captain Wingate, Captain Stone, and Acting Second Lieutenant McDermott.

The troops are not dispirited by this result, as all are satisfied that we have inflicted greater losses upon the enemy than we have suffered ourselves and that the ultimate result of the contest will be in our favor.

I will report more in detail in a few days.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Colonel Nineteenth Infantry, Commanding Department.


* See also Canby to Adjutant-General U. S. Army, February 23,in “Correspondence, etc.,” post.

** But see revised statement on p. 493.



SIR: In submitting my report of the battle of Valverde I have thought it necessary for a proper appreciation of the battle itself to include a connected history of the events that immediately preceded and followed it.


You were advised by previous reports that the advance of the enemy made its appearance in the neighborhood of this post as early as the 12th ultimo. His force consisted of Riley’s and Green’s regiments, five companies of Steele’s and five of Baylor’s regiments, Teel’s and Riley’s batteries, and three independent companies, making a nominal aggregate, as indicated by captured rolls and returns, of nearly 3,000 men, but reduced, it was understood, by sickness and detachments to about 2,600 when it reached this neighborhood.

To oppose this force I had concentrated at this post five companies of the Fifth, three of the Seventh, and three of the Tenth Infantry, two companies of the First and five of the Third Cavalry, McRae’s battery (G of the Second and I of the Third Cavalry), and a company of Colorado volunteers. The New Mexican troops consisted of the First Regiment (Carson’s), seven companies of the Second, seven of the Third, one of the Fourth, two of the Fifth, Graydon’s Spy Company, and about 1,000 hastily-collected and unorganized militia, making on the morning of the 21st an aggregate present of 3,810.

Having no confidence in the militia and but little in the volunteers, I had determined from the first to bring on a battle if possible in a position where the New Mexican troops would not be obliged to maneuver in the presence of or under the fire of the enemy. Several days were spent in the endeavor to accomplish this object, which failed, for the reason that several officers of the Confederate force had lived or served in New Mexico and thoroughly understood and appreciated the character of its people.

On the 19th the enemy fell back from his advanced position and crossed to the east bank of the river, about 7 miles below the post, with the evident intention of reaching the country above without fighting or of forcing us to attack him upon ground of his own choice. On the 20th the first movement for turning the post or occupying a point within range which commanded it was commenced, and in order that the operations of this and the subsequent day may be understood it is necessary to give a short topographical sketch of the country embraced in these operations.

From Paraje, 7 miles below, to a point immediately opposite the post, the valley of the Rio Grande is bounded on the east by a basaltic mesa from 40 to 80 feet in height, accessible at a few points by bridle-paths, and at only one point by a road practicable for artillery. Immediately opposite the post a point of the pedregal projects into the valley, and at the distance of 1,000 yards has a slight command over the post, which would be tenable only by preventing the establishment of batteries on the point. Two and a half miles above the post the Mesa del Contadero, about 3 miles long and 2 wide, rises to the height of 300 feet above the level of the valley. At the southern and northern ends of this mesa the valley of the river is accessible, and at both points was favorable for the establishment of a camp beyond the reach of our artillery and covered in front by the river itself.

The mal pais, or pedregal, is traversed by ridges of drifting sand, broken in places by protruding beds of lava, and parallel in their general direction to the valley of the river. The ravines between these ridges are natural covered ways, affording the enemy great advantages, by concealing his movements and securing him from attack by the impracticable character of the country between them and our position.

On the 20th the main force of the enemy moved up one of these ravines, and at 4 o’clock in the afternoon had reached a position in which it was possible to attack him, although the ground in his front {p.489} was exceedingly difficult for the operations of cavalry or artillery. For the purpose of attacking him while on the march the main body of our force had already been thrown across the river and advanced into the neighborhood of the ravine up which he was moving. Preparations for the attack were made, and skirmishers thrown forward for the purpose of drawing the fire of his batteries and developing his position. This was accomplished, but one of the volunteer regiments (Pino’s) was thrown into such utter confusion by a few harmless cannon-shots that it was impossible to restore them to any kind of order. This and the near approach of night rendered it inexpedient to-continue the attack. To mask our intentions and keep the enemy in his position as long as possible a demonstration upon his right flank was made by Colonel Roberts with all the cavalry force, under cover of which the troops were withdrawn, the infantry posted so as to prevent his effecting a lodgement during the night on the point opposite time post, and the artillery and cavalry crossed the river to the fort.

These movements had the intended effect, and on the morning of the 21st the enemy was found in the position he had occupied on the previous evening. During the night many of his animals stampeded from the want of water and between 200 and 300 horses and mules were captured and brought into the fort.

At 8 o’clock his advance was seen moving in the direction of the upper ford, and Colonel Roberts was detached with the regular and volunteer cavalry to occupy and hold time ford. He was followed immediately by two sections of McRae’s battery and Hall’s 24-pounder howitzers (two), supported by Brotherton’s company of the Fifth, Ingraham’s of the Seventh, and two (Mortimore’s and Hubbell’s) selected companies of volunteers. Graydon’s Spy Company and 500 mounted militia, under Colonels Pino and Stapleton, had all been sent to the eastern side of the river to watch the movements of the enemy, threaten his flanks and rear, and impede his movements as much as possible.

As his movement in the direction of the upper ford became more determined, Selden’s battalion, eight companies of regular infantry, and one of Colorado Volunteers, were recalled from the opposite side of the river and sent forward to re-enforce Colonel Roberts. Carson’s regiment (eight companies of New Mexican Volunteers) followed immediately afterwards. Soon after noon the object of the enemy was fully developed, and his whole force, with the exception of about 500 men, was moving in the direction of the upper ford. Leaving two companies of volunteers, a regiment of militia under Colonel Armijo, and some detachments from the regular troops to garrison the post, I ordered Pino’s regiment from its position on the opposite bank, and moved with Company G, First Cavalry, and the remaining section of McRae’s battery, to the upper crossing. On reaching the field I learned that the advance of the enemy had gained the crossing before our own advance, and endeavored to effect a lodgment that would command the ford. Major Duncan, Third Cavalry, in command of the immediate advance, promptly crossed the river, dismounted his men, and in a sharp and spirited skirmish drove the enemy from the position he had seized, enabling Colonel Roberts to establish his batteries in positions to drive the enemy from the heavy bosques in rear of the ford.

After a contest of two hours with artillery and small-arms, during which the Confederate forces fought with great determination and made several desperate efforts to obtain command of the crossing, this was accomplished, and they were driven from all the points near the ford. At, 12 o’clock Selden’s command reached the field, and under {p.490} Colonel Roberts’ direction immediately crossed the river, attacked the enemy in his new position, repulsed a desperate charge of his cavalry, drove him with great loss from this position, and remained master of the field. The batteries were now crossed to the east bank of the river, and the effective fire of McRae’s and Hall’s batteries, aided by the small-arms of Selden’s and Duncan’s commands, dislodged the enemy from all the positions and forced him to take shelter behind the sand hills. Three of his guns were disabled and left on the ground traversed by our troops, but were too much injured to be removed.

The position now occupied by the enemy was one of great natural strength, behind a sand ridge nearly parallel to the course of the river, which covered his guns and men from our fire, and in a great measure concealed his movements. Up to this time our loss in the Regulars and Colorado Volunteers had been 10 killed and 63 wounded. The arrival of the cavalry company and section of McRae’s battery (94) actually added but 21 men to our effective strength, while the enemy, abandoning a large portion of his train, had just brought upon the field an additional force of 500 men.

The reports of the several commanders and a personal reconnaissance satisfied me that a direct attack upon his position would be attended with great loss, and would be of doubtful result. I determined to attempt to force the left of his line, and the disposition of the troops to effect this was at once commenced, McRae’s battery, resting on the river and strongly supported, forming the left, Selden’s regular infantry and Carson’s volunteers the center, Hall’s battery, with its infantry support and Duncan’s cavalry (dismounted riflemen), the right of our line; Pino’s volunteers, a squadron of the First Cavalry, and Valdez’s volunteers the reserve.

With this arrangement I hoped by advancing the right and center, turning upon the left as a pivot, to force the left of his line, enfilade his position behind the sand hill, and drive him from the field. Accordingly Carson’s regiment, which at his own request had not hitherto been brought into action, was ordered to cross the river. Captain Lord was ordered to unite his own with Claflin’s company, and report to me as the cavalry reserve. The support of McRae’s battery was increased by Plympton’s battalion (four companies of regulars and one of Colorado Volunteers), and Pino’s regiment, then just coming up, was ordered to cross the river as the reserve for our left and an additional support for the battery. While these arrangements were in progress Hall’s battery was attacked by a large force of the enemy’s cavalry. Receiving from Major Duncan urgent and repeated messages, I detached first Ingraham’s company of the Seventh Infantry to support the battery, and then Wingate’s battalion of the Fifth to aid in repelling the attack. This was soon accomplished, and Carson’s regiment, which had just crossed the river, attracted by the firing, joined in the pursuit, and by a well-directed fire added to the discomfiture of the enemy, who fled precipitately, and did not stop until he had passed beyond the second range of sand hills.

At this moment a formidable storming party, supported by several infantry columns and four pieces of artillery, the whole estimated at more than 1,000 men, suddenly made its appearance from behind the sand ridge, and moved rapidly upon McRae’s battery. Perceiving that Plympton’s command was entirely unsuspicious of the danger that threatened the battery, I hastened in person to point it out and make arrangements for its defense, but before this could be fully accomplished the volunteers that formed a part of its support gave way, and {p.491} in passing through Plympton’s battalion communicated their panic, and carried with them a part of his men. The main body of his command, however, rushed into the battery and engaged in a gallant and desperate attempt to repel the enemy. The advance of the storming party was driven back, and under cover of this repulse the first fugitives from the battery crossed the river with but little loss. Lord’s squadron coming up from the right (where he had been ordered for the purpose of uniting his company with Claflin’s), was ordered to charge, but on approaching the battery became exposed to the fire of our own men as well as that of the enemy, turned to the left, and for reasons that are not entirely satisfactory fell back without making the charge. The storming party proper was deployed as skirmishers, enveloping the left front, and a part of the right of the battery by a circular segment nearly half a mile in length. Armed with double-barreled fowling-pieces and revolvers, and converging as they approached, a rapid and destructive fire was poured into the battery. From the moment that it made its appearance the storming party was met by a terrible fire of grape and double canister from the battery and of musketry from its infantry support. This contest was continued in and about the battery long after its guns had been silenced, the gunners with their revolvers and the infantry with their muskets in desperate and often hand-to-hand conflicts, until, overwhelmed by superior numbers, this gallant band was driven from the field, but not until it had lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners nearly one-half of its effective force.

At this moment Wingate’s battalion, coming up at the double-quick, poured upon the Confederates a rapid and destructive fire, under which they recoiled in disorder. So great was the confusion produced by this sudden and to them unexpected attack that for some moments I entertained the confident hope that the battery, and with it the fortunes of the day, would yet be saved; but the rapidly-gathering re-enforcements of the enemy and the distance to which our troops on the might (though promptly recalled by Colonel Roberts, commanding on that flank) had pursued the flying enemy, convinced me that to prolong the contest would only add to the number of our casualties without changing the result. Orders were accordingly sent to Captain Selden to fall back slowly and cover the retreat, and to the other commanders to recross the river. The movement of Selden’s column (four companies of the Fifth Infantry), in the immediate presence and under the fire of the enemy, was admirably executed, the command moving with deliberation, halting occasionally to allow the wounded to keep up with it, and many of the men picking up and carrying with them the arms of their dead or wounded comrades. The other columns, under the personal superintendence of Colonel Roberts, crossed over without disorder, confusion, or loss. The ammunition wagons, a disabled gun, and all the material except the captured battery and a part of the arms of the killed and wounded, were safely passed over.

On the west bank of the river the troops that had escaped from the battle were found to be much scattered, but the regular troops were easily collected and sent forward in the direction of the fort. Pino’s regiment, of which only one company (Sena’s) and part of another could be induced to cross the river was in the wildest confusion, and no efforts of their own officers or on my staff could restore any kind of order. More than 100 men from this regiment deserted from the field. Under cover first of Selden’s column and afterwards of the regular cavalry the stragglers were collected, arrangements made for the removal of the dead and the care of the wounded, the beef herds driven {p.492} in, and the public property collected and removed. Nothing was abandoned on the field except some tents and fixtures of the field hospital left behind to make room for wounded men, and one wagon, from which the escort (volunteers) had cut the mules and fled to the mountains. With the cavalry as a rear guard the command marched in without confusion or loss.

Besides the superiority in numbers the Confederate Army possesses a great advantage over us in the superior mobility of its force, which was all mounted. Occupying on the morning of the 21st a position which threatened two points of vital importance to us, he was able to evade the attacks directed against him and to concentrate superior numbers at any other point. Our infantry, which in the morning held him in check at the lower end of the mesa, was obliged to march 7 miles and to ford twice a deep and rapid stream in order to reach the field he had finally chosen. In all the earlier conflicts of the day, as in the final struggle, our troops were always encountered by superior numbers, never less than two and sometimes four to one.

Although defeated, my command is not dispirited. All feel that greater injuries have been inflicted upon the enemy than we have sustained ourselves, and that what we have lost has been without loss of honor.

With deep sorrow I transmit the list of our killed, wounded, and missing, amounting in the aggregate to one-fourth of the effectives we had on the field. On the list are the names of several accomplished officers and many brave and noble men, who have exhibited the last and highest example of devoted loyalty and patriotism. Their memory is commended to the respect, and their relatives and friends to the sympathy, of our countrymen. Among these, however, is one, isolated by peculiar circumstances, whose memory deserves notice from a higher authority than mine. Pure in character, upright in conduct, devoted to his profession, and of a loyalty that was deaf to the seductions of family and friends, Captain McRae died, as he had lived, aim example of the best and highest qualities that man can possess.

I desire to bring to your notice Colonel Roberts, Third Cavalry, for some time past the energetic and efficient commander of the troops at Fort Craig, and on the 21st the immediate commander of the troops at Valverde, until 2.30 o’clock. He was then, as he has always been, distinguished for coolness, gallantry, and efficiency.

The officers whose conduct came under my own observation or is reported by subordinate commanders are Captains Selden, Wingate, and Brotherton, Lieutenants Anderson and Cook, of the Fifth Infantry; Captain Plympton, of the Seventh Infantry; Lieutenant Hall, of the Tenth Infantry; Captains Morris and Howland, Third Cavalry; First Lieutenant Bell, Second, and Captain Mortimore, Third New Mexico Volunteers. These names are presented because the officers were isolated by command, by position, or by peculiar circumstances, and I adopt as my own the commendation bestowed by other commanders upon the officers and men of their commands. The names of the noncommissioned officers and men who were distinguished have been called for, and will be presented hereafter.

My thanks are especially due to the members of my staff, Major Donaldson, Captains Archer, Evans, and Nicodemus, and Lieutenant D’Amours, all of whom were much exposed, and exhibited the greatest coolness and zeal in the performance of their duties.

Higher thanks than any I can bestow are due to the medical officers of the command, and especially to Assistant Surgeons Norris (medical {p.493} director), Clements, and Bill, upon whom the chief labors fell, for their untiring devotion to the comfort of our wounded men. Assistant Surgeons Shout and Rankin, of the volunteer service, and Doctors Arnold and Belt are specially noticed by the medical director.

Colonels Pino and Carson, Lieut. Cols. J. F. and Manuel Chavez, and many other officers of the New Mexican Volunteers, were noted for their zeal and energy.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Colonel Nineteenth Infantry, Commanding Department.



Return of casualties in the United States troops, commanded by Col. Edward R. S. Canby, at the battle of Valverde, N. Mex., February 21, 1862.

[Compiled from nominal lists of casualties, returns, &c.]

Command.Killed.Wounded.Captured or missing.Aggregate.Remarks.
Officers.Enlisted men.Officers.Enlisted men.Officers.Enlisted men.
1st New Mexico Infantry111113
2d New Mexico Infantry134
3d New Mexico Infantry613111
4th New Mexico InfantryNo loss reported.
5th New Mexico Infantry314
Graydon’s company, New MexicoNo loss reported.
Dodd’s company, Colorado228939
1st U. S. Cavalry, Companies D and G19111
2d U. S. Cavalry, Company G99220
3d U. S. Cavalry, Companies C, D, G, I, and K151420
5th U. S. Infantry, Companies B, D, F, I, and K19233146
7th U. S. Infantry, Companies C, F, and H11839462
10th U. 5. Infantry, Companies A, F, and H10171533

NOTE.-McRae’s battery (provisional) was composed of Companies G, Second, and I, Third, U. S. Cavalry.


No. 2.

Report of Col. Benjamin S. Roberts, Fifth New Mexico Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS SOUTHERN MILITARY DISTRICT, Department of New Mexico, Fort Craig, February 23, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, for the information of the department commander, the operations of my command at the battle of Valverde, near Fort Craig, N. Mex., on the 21st instant.

Conforming to his orders, I proceeded with one company of the First and four of the Third Cavalry and the four companies of mounted volunteers, {p.494} commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Valdez, to watch the movements of General Sibley’s Confederate forces, supposed to be attempting to reach the river near Valverde, and to prevent their effecting that object. This mounted force was supported by Captain McRae’s field battery of four pieces, Lieutenant Hall’s, Tenth Infantry, two 24-pounder howitzers, Captain Brotherton’s company of the Fifth, Captain Ingraham’s of the Seventh Infantry, Captain Hubbell’s company of the Fifth Regiment, and Captain Mortimore’s of the Third Regiment New Mexico Volunteers.

On reaching the crossing at the foot of the mesa of the Contadero I discovered that the Confederate forces had already reached the river and occupied the large bosques in the Valverde bottom with quite heavy forces of cavalry and several guns. Major Duncan, commanding the regular cavalry, in advance, promptly crossed the ford, and dismounting his force, commenced the action by skirmishing on foot, and in a spirited and sharp skirmish with the Confederates cleared the bosque of their forces, enabling me to establish the batteries to cover the crossing and to shell the enemy from the heavy timbers he had already seized.

A careful examination of the field of battle made by me some months ago impressed me with the importance of seizing and holding the thick bosque at the lower ford the moment I discovered the Confederate forces had reached the river. For this reason I directed all the strength of my command toward the accomplishment of that object. But the enemy had discovered it was the strength of their position, and they struggled with desperation to keep it. It was of paramount consequence to lose no time in gaining this point, as re-enforcements were rapidly increasing the Confederate forces, and their possession of this bosque in force gave them the command of the ford. They were first driven from it by the dismounted cavalry. Three times afterwards, with accumulated strength, they swarmed into it, but they were three times driven out by the slaughter of McRae’s and Hall’s guns, that disabled, in their last attempt to establish a counter-battery, one of their pieces and destroyed one caisson.. My anxiety to gain this position was extreme, and three times I sent orders to Major Duncan to take it and hold it at all hazards. It was my intention to place McRae’s battery there, and had the dismounted cavalry, conforming to my orders, vigorously supported the advance of Brotherton, with his company of bayonets, and held the position twenty minutes, McRae’s guns and Hall’s howitzers could have been crossed over and placed in battery on this key of the field. The disorder of the Confederates was very great at that time. Their re-enforcements were swarming down from the mesa in confusion, and the effect of our guns from this commanding point I had hoped to gain would have forced them back on the mesa and kept them from the river.

I cannot withhold my expression of regret that the commanding officer of the cavalry made no efforts to take and hold this bosque after my reiterated orders had been conveyed to him to do so. The success of my plan seemed to me beyond peradventure at the time I crossed Captain Brotherton’s company over and reiterated the order to Major Duncan to support him and clear the bosque. Colonel Carson’s regiment and Captain Selden’s command of regulars would then have been crossed at the lower ford and thrown upon the Confederates’ left flank with an assurance of victory as certain as the laws of nature.

The failure to secure this position in the early part of the action forced upon me the subsequent operations on the Confederates’ right {p.495} wing, by crossing Captain Selden’s command higher up the river which I was only enabled to do in consequence of the low stage of the water. No fords were known above, but the regulars took the water and crossed, selecting step by step their foothold among quicksands and against the strong current of the Rio Grande up to their arms in its water.

The fire of our batteries commenced at 10 o’clock, and under the admirable serving of Captain McRae, Third Cavalry, Lieuts. L. Mishler, Fifth Infantry, I. McC. Bell, Second New Mexico Volunteers, and Robert H. Hall, Tenth Infantry, drove the enemy’s forces from all their main positions. But they were constantly receiving re-enforcements, and having established their guns at different points within twenty minutes after Captain McRae’s first shot, replied with well-directed and rapid returns of shot, shell, and grape, making the most desperate efforts to regain the ground from which they had been driven by Major Duncan’s skirmishers. This contest of artillery and rifles was continued for more than two hours with a desperation on the part of the Confederates well worthy of a better cause. At about 12 meridian I had driven them from all the positions they had taken, forced them to withdraw their guns, and take a position higher up the river.

Captain Selden’s battalion of regular infantry, including Captain Wingate’s and Captain Plympton’s battalions and Colonel Carson’s regiment New Mexican Volunteers, reported to me at this juncture. I directed Captain Selden with his command to cross the river higher up, in the direction the enemy had been driven, and engage them with the bayonet.

Having received information that 500 Confederate cavalry had crossed the river above and threatened my rear, I placed Colonel Carson’s regiment in a bosque higher up, near the main road to Valverde, to observe that direction, and to prevent any attempts on my left and rear. Captain Selden promptly formed after fording the river, and in the most gallant manner attacked the large forces that had been driven from their first positions and taken a still stronger one higher up the river. He drove them with great slaughter from the bosque they had then seized, repulsed a determined charge of their Lancers made with audacity and desperation, and was master of the field.

I had intended Major Duncan’s dismounted cavalry and Captain Brotherton’s regular infantry to press the enemy’s left at the same time Captain Selden attacked their right, and had sent my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Meinhold, to the major with the order to do so, and it is to be regretted that Major Duncan conceived that his small force justified a non-compliance with my order. I am undoubting in my conviction that if the dismounted cavalry and Brotherton’s infantry had vigorously pushed the enemy’s left while Captain Selden was successfully forcing their right wing their rout would have been complete.

I now felt secure in crossing the batteries, and having posted them on Captain Selden’s right, with the support of Captain Brotherton’s and Captain Ingraham’s companies of regular infantry and Captains Hubbell’s and Mortimore’s companies of volunteers, opened fire again on the other parts of the field still held by the enemy. This movement forced the Confederates to change the positions of their guns, and they renewed the artillery combat with activity and spirit, but the superior service of our guns, under the skill and conduct of Captain McRae, again silenced their batteries, and seemed to assure us of victory.

In this manner I continued the combat until 2.30 p.m., when information {p.496} reached me that Colonel Canby was arriving with re-enforcements. The commands were fatigued with five hours’ constant action; and while waiting the arrival of the commanding colonel the men were permitted to lunch and ordered to replenish their cartridge-boxes. During this time the batteries continued to operate on the enemy whenever he displayed himself until Colonel Canby reached the field, fifteen minutes before 3 o’clock p.m. The heavy bosques in our front were terminated by a drift of sand extending from the high bluff of the Contadero to the river. Behind this drift the enemy, concealed from my observation, rallied all their forces abandoning wagons on the sand hills, tents, and other supplies, including ammunition, with the desperate resolve to storm our batteries. Hiding their design, they formed two strong parties of stormers, that were undiscovered until they fell with great fury on McRae’s battery on our left and Lieutenant Hall’s 24-pounder howitzers near Major Duncan on our right. Major Duncan’s cavalry on foot and Captain Brotherton’s company of the Fifth Infantry, re-enforced promptly by Colonel Carson’s regiment of volunteers and Captain Wingate’s battalion of regulars, opened a destructive fire on the charging columns on the right and repulsed them with great slaughter. McRae’s battery, though held with unexampled determination after the loss of every horse and more than half the gunners disabled and killed, was carried, and fell into the enemy’s hands. Captain McRae, Third Cavalry, and Lieutenant Mishler, Fifth Infantry, were killed at their pieces, and illustrated a courage and conduct that will render the battle of Valverde memorable among the glories of American arms. It is due to the memories of the dead who served this battery and to the survivors, whose gallant and heroic service commends them to the praise of the country, to mention them as deserving honor and thanks.

The supporting columns of McRae’s battery and the left wing having retired across the river, I ordered the cavalry forces to recross, and they fell back in good order into this post.

It is with a heavy heart I inclose you a list of the killed and wounded of my command, exceeding in the regular forces one-fifth of all that command in the field-a loss unexampled, it is believed, in any single battle ever fought on this continent.

The officers whose conduct came under my own observation and were distinguished above praise are Capt. H. R. Selden, Fifth Infantry; Capt. B. Wingate, Fifth Infantry, badly wounded; Captain Mortimore, Third New Mexico Volunteers, three times wounded; Lieut. I. McC. Bell, Second New Mexico Volunteers, serving with McRae’s battery; Lieutenant Anderson, Fifth Infantry, acting adjutant to Captain Selden’s battalion; Lieut. F. Cook, Fifth Infantry, and Lieut. R. H. Hall, Tenth Infantry, serving the 24-pounder howitzers. These names are not mentioned to lessen the great praise due to many other officers who served in my command, and who are deserving honor and gratitude. I refer the commanding officer of the department to the reports of battalion commanders for their names, and present them as especially entitled to distinction.

I mention with pleasure Lieuts. Charles Meinhold and William W. Mills, of the Fifth Regiment of Volunteers, who served as my aides on the field, and who executed every duty gallantly, rendering most important and valuable service, Capt. James Graydon, with his independent Spy Company, rendered me eminent service by his vigilant watch of the enemy’s movements, and great energy, enterprise, and daring during the entire day. Assistant Surgeon Bill, in charge of {p.497} ambulances on the field, was distinguished for his energy and admirable arrangements for the relief of the dying and care of the wounded.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. S. ROBERTS, Colonel, Volunteers, Commanding.

Capt. WILLIAM J. L. NICODEMUS, 12th. Infantry, Act. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. New Mexico.


No. 3.

Reports of Maj. Thomas Duncan, Third U. S. Cavalry, and resulting correspondence.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD REGIMENT OF CAVALRY, Fort Craig, N. Mex., February 23, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the troops under my command at the battle of Valverde, on the 21st instant:

On leaving here at about 8 o’clock on the morning of that day my command was composed of Companies C, D, G, and K, Third U. S. Cavalry, and Company G, First U. S. Cavalry. After marching a short distance up the river I was directed by Col. B. S. Roberts, commanding column, to leave my rear company as an escort and to proceed rapidly with the other four to the upper end of the Mesa del Contadero, and, if possible, to cross the river and hold the bosque on the opposite side, so as to prevent the enemy from reaching the water.

On arriving at the ford I found two companies of Colonel Valdez’s mounted volunteers. These, as well as my own command, were crossed over as promptly as possible; but we had no sooner arrived on the river bank than a large force of the enemy’s cavalry could be seen in the woods a few hundred yards to our front. It was soon discovered that his squadrons of cavalry were moving rapidly to our left under cover of the timber, and I immediately ordered Lieutenant Claim, with his company (G, First U. S. Cavalry), to proceed up the river, in order to observe the enemy’s movements. In a few minutes this officer returned and reported that the enemy’s cavalry had reached the river about 1,000 yards above us, watered their horses, and were returning to their position in front of us. As the enemy was greatly superior in numbers, had the advantage of a thick cover of timber, and by this time had brought up a piece of artillery and put it in position at close range to my front and right, I saw that it would be folly to move forward and attack him. I therefore dismounted my command, had the horses and horse-holders concealed as well as possible behind a low sand ridge, about 80 yards from and parallel to the river, and deployed the remainder of the men behind some small sand hills, logs, and a few scattering trees, about 100 yards in advance of the horses, determined, if possible, to hold the position and keep the enemy back from the ford until our artillery and infantry could arrive and cross. The enemy constantly sent forward small reconnoitering parties to examine the nature of the ground and the number and kind of my force, but the accurate aim of our sharpshooters as often prevented them from getting near enough to ascertain my real weakness.


Directly after I had gotten my command in position a 6-pounder to the front of my right flank opened upon us with vigor and kept up the fire with an occasional cessation until about 1.30 p.m., when it was either disabled or driven from its position by two or three well-directed shells from Hall’s 24-pounder howitzer. Very soon after the enemy’s 6-pounder gun had opened its fire a heavy force of his cavalry, soon followed by a piece of artillery, moved down through the timber toward the Mesa del Contadero, with the evident intention of assailing our right flank and resting his left on the river below the ford. Colonel Roberts, who was waiting on the opposite bank of the river to place McRae’s battery, which was then approaching, in position, discovered this move of the enemy through an opening, promptly advised me of it, and directed me to throw some skirmishers into the thick timber immediately to my right and below the ford to drive the enemy back. Companies C and D, Third U. S. Cavalry, under the command of Captains Howland and Treacy, were dispatched for this duty.* After a spirited skirmish for several minutes the enemy was driven back, but soon rallied and renewed the assault with vigor, and although several times repulsed, he as often returned.

By this time, which I think was not far from 10 o’clock, McRae’s battery opened a deadly fire of shot and shell into the bosque, supported by my skirmishers and Captain Brotherton’s company of the Fifth U. S. Infantry, which Colonel Roberts had sent across the river to their support. Our fire soon became so galling that the enemy was driven from the woods in great disorder and with heavy loss, abandoning their gun, but soon rallied and carried it off by hand, the animals all being killed or crippled. From this until about noon a fire was kept up by McRae’s battery and Hall’s howitzer upon every party that showed itself, as well as upon the enemy’s battery, which had for some time turned its attention from my cavalry to our guns across the river. Our infantry arrived soon after this, and crossing the river at the upper ford, just above my left flank, deployed through the thick woods up the river. Colonel Roberts followed with the artillery, taking McRae’s battery with him up to the left, and at my request sending Hall’s 24-pounder howitzer down to the right.

After silencing the gun which had been playing from 9 o’clock in the morning alternately on my command and upon the battery. Lieutenant Hall was sent to the right with his gun to dislodge a large party of the enemy reported by Captain Morris, commanding skirmishers in the bosque, to be directly in his front. As soon as Lieutenant Hall could ascertain the exact position of the enemy he commenced shelling it with such precision as to entirely clear the woods in a few minutes. After this no part of the enemy’s force was seen on our right for some time and all remained quiet.

Before the arrival of Colonel Canby on the field I had asked for and received authority from Colonel Roberts to move my whole force through the timber on our right whenever I should discover that a general movement was being made against the enemy’s right.*

Being informed soon after 3 o’clock that a concerted movement by our whole left flank was soon to be made against the enemy’s right, I sent a request that one more company of infantry might be sent to join Brotherton’s, as a support to Hall’s howitzer, in order that I might be able to throw the whole of my dismounted cavalry forward as skirmishers. Captain Ingraham was promptly sent to me, and Colonel Carson soon followed with his regiment, deploying on my left. Soon after we {p.499} commenced the forward movement a terrific cannonading and roar of small-arms was heard on our left flank, and immediately a large force of the enemy’s cavalry came charging down, with the evident intention of seizing Hall’s howitzer at the same time of the attack on McRae’s battery; but before they could get nearer than 150 yards a deadly discharge of rifles and musketry by my skirmishers, the two companies of infantry. Graydon’s Spy Company, and part of Colonel Carson’s regiment was poured into their column, causing the enemy to wheel about in full retreat. Just then Lieutenant Hall dropped a shell in the midst of them, and so increased the panic which the enemy had just received from our volley of small-arms that he retreated entirely out of sight. At this moment, and when I was hurrying Hall’s howitzer forward to place it in an advantageous position about 300 yards in advance, I was informed by an aide-de-camp that McRae’s battery had been taken, and was ordered to recross the river without delay. My whole command, including the howitzer and infantry support, was immediately put in motion in the direction of the lower ford and crossed over in perfect order.

It only remains for me to say that during the whole of the day I was nobly supported by all the officers and men under my command.

The conduct of Captains Morris. Howland, Tilford, and Treacy, commanding companies, and Lieutenants Falvey, Texter, Wall, and Ewing, was characterized by the greatest zeal and coolness. The conduct and deportment of the non-commissioned officers and men were equally commendable.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS DUNCAN, Major, Third U. S. Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.

Acting Second Lieut. C. MEINHOLD, Third U. S. Cavalry, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

* See inclosure to Duncan to Roberts, March 7, p. 500.



MAJOR: On reading your report I discover that you say on pages 4 and 5:

After this no part of the enemy’s force was seen on our right for some time and all remained quiet. Before the arrival of Colonel Canby on the field I had asked for and received authority from Colonel Roberts to move my whole force through the timber on our right when ever I should discover that a general movement was being made against the enemy’s right.

If you sent any request of this kind to me I did not receive it; but as I had sent reiterated orders to you to take and hold the bosque on the enemy’s left and had used McRae’s battery to aid you in that object, your report should be so corrected as [to] show that fact.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. S. ROBERTS, Colonel of Volunteers, Commanding.

Maj. T. DUNCAN, Commanding Third U. S. Cavalry, Fort Craig.


HEADQUARTERS THIRD U. S. CAVALRY, Fort Craig, N. Mex., March 7, 1862.

COLONEL: Herewith I have the honor to inclose a copy of my report of the part taken by the troops under my command in the battle of {p.500} Valverde, corrected in accordance with the suggestion contained in your letter of the 5th instant. You will observe that I have made another slight correction in regard to the time that Captain Treacy’s company was first sent into the bosque as skirmishers and also an allusion to Lieutenant Claflin.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS DUNCAN, Major Third U. S. Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.

Col. B. S. ROBERTS, Fifth Regiment New Mexico Volunteers, Commanding District.


HEADQUARTERS THIRD REGIMENT OF CAVALRY, Fort Craig, N. Mex., February 23, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the troops under my command at the battle of Valverde, on the 21st instant :*


Directly after I had gotten my command in position a 6-pounder to the front of my right flank opened upon us with vigor and kept up the fire with an occasional cessation until about 1.30 p.m., when it was either disabled or driven from its position by two or three well-directed shells from Hall’s 24-pounder howitzer. Very soon after the enemy’s 6-pounder gun had opened its fire a heavy force of his cavalry, soon followed by a piece of artillery, moved down through the timber toward the Mesa del Contadero, with the evident intention of assailing our right flank and resting his left on the river below the ford. Colonel Roberts, who was waiting on the opposite bank of the river to place McRae’s battery, which was then approaching, in position, discovered this movement of the enemy through an opening, promptly advised me of it, and directed me to throw some skirmishers into the thick timber immediately to my right and below the ford, to drive the enemy back. Company C, Third U. S. Cavalry, under Captain Howland, was immediately dispatched to re-enforce Captain Treacy’s company (D), which I had thrown into the bosque as skirmishers to keep out some small reconnoitering parties that had been seen to our right previous to the colonel’s arrival. After a spirited skirmish for several minutes the enemy was driven back, but soon rallied and renewed the assault with vigor, and although several times repulsed, he as often returned.


After silencing the gun which had been playing from 9 o’clock in the morning alternately on my command and upon the battery, Lieutenant Hall was sent to the right, with his gun, to dislodge a large party of the enemy reported by Captain Morris, commanding skirmishers in the bosque, to be directly in his front. As soon as Lieutenant Hall could ascertain the exact position of the enemy he commenced shelling it with such precision as to entirely clear the woods in a few minutes. After this no part of the enemy’s force was seen on our right for some time and all remained quiet.

After the arrival of our infantry, and before Colonel Canby had reached the field, I sent several messages to Colonel Roberts, requesting authority to move my whole force through the timber on our right {p.501} whenever I should discover that a general movement was being made against the enemy’s right. I was finally informed by one of my messengers that the request was granted; but it is proper to state that I have since been informed by Colonel Roberts that he received no such request.


It only remains for me to say that during the whole of the day I was nobly supported by all the officers and men under my command.

The conduct of Captains Morris, Howland, Tilford, and Treacy, commanding companies, and Lieutenants Falvey, Texter, Wall, and Ewing was characterized by the greatest zeal and coolness.

Lieutenant Claflin also obeyed the orders given him with alacrity, but before the most important events of the day occurred he had been detached from my command.

The conduct and deportment of the non-commissioned officers and men were equally commendable.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS DUNCAN, Major, Third U. S. Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.

Acting Second Lieut. C. MEINHOLD, Third U. S. Cavalry, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

* So much of this as is a repetition of the report on p. 497 is omitted.


HDQRS. SOUTHERN MILITARY DIST., DEPT. OF N. MEX., Fort Craig, N. Mex., March 8, 1862.

MAJOR: I have received your report, corrected, as you state, in accordance with the suggestion contained in my Letter of the 5th instant. You have not, however, in that alteration removed the clear repugnancy of your statement that-

After the arrival of our infantry, and before Colonel Canby had reached the field, I sent several messengers to Colonel Roberts, requesting authority to move my whole force through the timber to our right, &c.

That position through the timber to your right is the very one I had repeatedly ordered you to take and hold, and you had three times justified your non-execution of the order by saying your force was insufficient, the ground did not permit it, &c. From the beginning of the action I was directing all my forces to drive the enemy from his position in this bosque and to move McRae’s battery to that point, as I knew that the position enfiladed the line of sand drift and commanded every position on the field where the Confederates could find shelter and prepare any plan of battle.

The contradiction of your report, major, is this: That you sent several messages to me requesting permission to take position where I had repeatedly ordered you [to] go, and you had as often declined even to make the attempt. An officer must have strong reasons for any justification of non-execution of orders on the field of battle, and I am constrained to confess that after a good deal of reflection I am convinced that, had you attacked vigorously with all your force after I re-enforced you with Brotherton’s company of bayonets, you would have carried and held the enemy’s left with little loss, and the subsequent misfortunes of the day would not have occurred.

I will thank you for the names of the messengers you sent me with {p.502} the requests referred to, as I wish to arrest and punish them, whoever they may be, for not conveying your orders.*

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. S. ROBERTS, Colonel of Volunteers, Commanding.

Maj. T. DUNCAN, Commanding Third U. S. Cavalry.

* Answer, if any, not found.


No. 4.

Reports of Col. Christopher Carson, First New Mexico Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRD COLUMN TROOPS IN THE FIELD, Near Fort Craig, N. Mex., February 26, 1862.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the third column, composed of eight companies of the First Regiment of New Mexico Volunteers, under my command, during the battle of Valverde, on the 21st instant, and prior to the arrival on the field of Col. E. R. S. Canby, U. S. Army, commanding department:

Pursuant to the order of the department commander my command marched from Fort Craig and arrived on the battle ground about 9 o’clock in the morning, soon after the batteries had opened fire. I remained on the west side of the Rio Grande, gradually moving up the bank of the river as the enemy extended his right in the same direction, until after the arrival of Colonel Canby, commanding, upon the field, when I was ordered to cross the river, which I did at once. My after operations will, as directed, be made to him.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. CARSON, Fifth Regt. N. Mex. Vols., Comdg. Fort Craig, N. Mex.

Col. B. S. ROBERTS, Colonel First New Mexico Vols., Commanding Third Column.


HDQRS. THIRD COLUMN TROOPS IN THE FIELD, Camp near Fort Craig, February 26, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the third column, composed of eight companies of the First Regiment New Mexico Volunteers, under my command, during the battle of Valverde, on the 21st, and subsequent to the arrival on the field of Colonel Canby, commanding department, until which time my column had remained on the west side of the river and taken no part in the battle:

About 1 o’clock in the afternoon I received from Colonel Canby the order to cross the river, which I immediately did, after which I was ordered to form my command on the right of our line and to advance as skirmishers toward the hills. After advancing some 400 yards we discovered a large body (some 400 or 500) of the enemy charging diagonally across our front, evidently with the intention of capturing the 24-pounder gun, which, stationed on our right, was advancing and doing much harm to the enemy. As the head of the enemy’s column {p.503} came within some 80 yards of my right a volley from the whole column was poured into them, and the firing being kept up caused them to break in every direction and retreat. Almost at the same time a shell from the 24-pounder was thrown among them with fatal effect. They did not attempt to reform, and the column, supported by the gun on the right, was moving forward to sweep the wood near the hills, when I received the order to retreat and recross the river. This movement was executed in good order. The column, after crossing the river, returned to its station near Fort Craig, where it arrived about 7 o’clock in the evening.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. CARSON, Colonel First N. Mex. Vols., Commanding Third Column.

Capt. WILLIAM J. L. NICODEMUS, A. A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dept. of N. Mex., Fort Craig, N. Mex


No. 5.

Report of Col. Miguel B. Pino, Second New Mexico infantry.

HDQRS. SECOND REGIMENT NEW MEXICO VOLS., Camp near Fort Craig, N. Mex., February 26, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the department commander, the operations of the column under my command on the 21st February, 1862, in the field, viz:

The column, being stationed on the eastern bank of the river opposite Fort Craig, received orders to cross the river and escort the ammunition train to the field of battle. The column crossed and proceeded with the train to the crossing of the river in rear of the engagement, where orders were received to cross and form on the eastern bank. While this movement was being executed we were ordered back to form on the western bank, where we took our position and fired upon the enemy until ordered to return to Fort Craig and occupy our former encampment.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MIGUEL E. PINO, Colonel Second Regiment New Mexico Volunteers.

Captain NICODEMUS, Assistant Adjutant-General.


No. 6.

Report of Lieut. Col. José M. Valdez, Third New Mexico Infantry.

FORT CRAIG, N. MEX., February 26, 1862.

I have the honor to make the following report of the conduct of the companies under my command of the Third Regiment New Mexico Volunteers during the battle of Valverde, on the 21st instant, against the Confederate troops, according [to] the reports of the commanders of said companies:


Capt. Pedro Sanchez, Third Regiment New Mexico Volunteers, reports that his company (C) fought gallantly during the battle without making any retreat without orders; that his company, with some other companies, under the direction of the gallant Major Duncan, did commence the attack against the enemy before the battery and troops of ours could reach the camp of battle, but he makes special mention that Corp. Antonio Chawn, Privates Jesus Archuleeta and Pastor Archuleeta did act on that occasion with such encouragement and valor that they killed some men of the enemy’s battery.

Capt. Juan A. Sarracino, Third Regiment New Mexico Volunteers, reports that Company G, under his command, acted in the battle in good spirits at all times during the war, and that they did not make any retreat without orders.

Capt. Rafael Chacon, First Regiment New Mexico Volunteers, reports that his company did fight well and with valor during the battle, and that when the company was ordered to retreat they were satisfied of having obliged the enemy to retreat in all their charges, and that his company, when retired from camp of battle, was in good and quiet spirits.

Capt. Ricardo Branch, Third Regiment New Mexico Volunteers, reports that his company (B) was in the camp of battle acting as well as they could, fighting all the time with valor and activity, and that the company did not make any retreat without orders.

The commander of the company of Capt. William Mortimore, Third Regiment New Mexico Volunteers, reports that the following non-commissioned officers and privates, viz, First Sergt. J. W. Lewelling, Sergts. Edward Watters and Trancer Moore; Corps. Biter Terreme, José Leyra, S. C. Miller, C. A. Reisden, George Beker, Henry York, Marceline Martinez, and José Anartaico Crespin, with others that are killed and missing, fought in the battle the 21st instant gallantly and sustained the battery to the last moment.

I certify in honor that the above is correct and just.

JOSE M. VALDEZ, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Regiment New Mexico Mounted Vols.

ACTING ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Southern Military District, Port Craig, N. Mex.


No. 7.

Findings of Court of Inquiry on conduct of Capt. R. S. C. Lord, First U. S. Cavalry.


HDQRS. DEPT. OF NEW MEXICO, Santa Fé, October 13, 1862.

I. At the request of Capt. R. S. C. Lord, U. S. First Cavalry, a Court of Inquiry, consisting of Maj. Henry D. Wallen, U. S. Seventh Infantry, Surg. Elisha I. Baily, medical director, U. S. Army, and Surg. James M. McNulty, First Infantry, California Volunteers, with Capt. Andrew W. Evans, U. S. Sixth Cavalry, was assembled at Santa Fé, on the 2d of October, 1862, to investigate certain allegations made against the official reputation of the applicant.

The court was ordered to report the essential facts and its opinion in the case, and the following is the result of the investigation:

The court is of the opinion that the statement in the Santa Fé Gazette {p.505} of the battle of Valverde is incorrectly given. The evidence of First Sergeant Walker, of Captain Lord’s company, goes to show that the battery was charged by Captain Lord’s order, and that he led the charge. The evidence of Lieutenant Meinhold is that Colonel Donaldson was not dressed in uniform, and therefore the soldiers of Captain Lord’s command were not bound to recognize his orders. Lieutenant-Colonel Donaldson did not give that order to Captain Lord in person, nor did he see him on the battle-field.

In reference to the second allegation, the court is of the opinion that the orders, as sworn to by Lieutenant Meinhold, may have been given to Captain Lord, but from the fact that they were not heard or understood by the officer on duty with Captain Lord, nor by First Sergeant Walker, who was by his side, they may likewise have been misunderstood or lost by him in the confusion of the battle.

The evidence given by Acting Second Lieutenant Bernard is that Captain Lord’s command, while proceeding to join Colonel Donaldson, had lost their guides, and were out of provisions, and that their horses were broken down, and that they were ignorant of the country, and they found themselves under these circumstances between two superior forces of the enemy. The court is of opinion, that the evidence places the conduct of Captain Lord in its true light, and exonerates him from all censure on that allegation.

The evidence before the court goes to show that the company did not flee ingloriously from the field, but that it did charge the battery, did cover the men, and form in good order on the opposite side and open fire on the enemy, and all this was in obedience to the orders of Colonel Canby.

The court is of opinion that this investigation should have been granted Captain Lord months since, and that, in denying this opportunity to vindicate his character, much injustice has been done him. The evidence now presented before the court acquits him of all censure or blame for the loss of the battle of Valverde.

The court is further of opinion that no further action should be taken in the case of Capt. R. S. C. Lord, First Cavalry, U. S. Army.

II. The proceedings of the court of inquiry are approved. Captain Lord will proceed to join his company in the East.

III. The court of inquiry, of which Maj. Henry D. Wallen, U. S. Seventh Infantry, is president, is hereby dissolved.

By order of Brigadier-General Carleton:

BEN. C. CUTLER, Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.


No. 8.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley, C. S. Army, commanding Army of New Mexico, including operations from January-to May 4, 1862.


GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you, for the information of the President, that I encountered the enemy at this point (6 miles above Fort Craig) in force at 11 o’clock yesterday morning, and after one of the most severely-contested actions, lasting until 5 p.m., the {p.506} enemy was driven from the field with a loss, as estimated, of 4 captains of the Regular Army and some 300 killed and wounded, and the capture of his entire field battery, the disabling of one 24-pounder, and the abandonment of another in the river. We have but few prisoners; among them is Capt. William H. Rossell, of the Tenth Infantry.

The enemy had upon the field about 3,500 men, 1,200 of whom were old regulars. We never had more than 1,500 engaged. For the first time, perhaps, on record batteries were charged and taken at the muzzle of double-barreled shot-guns, thus illustrating the spirit, valor, and invincible determination of Texas troops. Nobly have they emulated the fame of their San Jacinto ancestors.

Our loss was severe-40 killed, including Maj. S. A. Lockridge, of the Fifth Regiment, and Capt. M. Heuvel of the Fourth. I have no reports of the wounded, but I think 100 will cover it.

Before closing this report it is especially due to Col. Thomas Green, of the Fifth, to say that, in consequence of severe and prolonged illness and weakness resulting from it, I could only keep my saddle until 1 o’clock, and at that hour I relinquished to him the full direction of active operations. His coolness under the heaviest fire and intrepidity under the most trying circumstances are sufficiently attested by the results. I cannot commend Colonel Green too highly to the favorable consideration of the Executive.

Where so much gallantry was displayed I cannot, before reaching the reports of commanders, particularize individuals.

It will be necessary, to secure our purpose, to re-enforce me largely from Texas at as early a day as possible. The force we had to contend against amounted to near 6,000 men.

I beg leave, in conclusion, to bring to your notice the intelligence and valor of the members of my staff, Maj. A. M. Jackson, assistant adjutant-general; Maj. R. T. Brownrigg, commissary of subsistence; Lieutenant Ochiltree, aide-de-camp, and Col. W. L. Robards, Major Magoffin, and Capt. J. Dwyer, volunteer aides.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. H. SIBLEY, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.

P. S.-Lieut. Col. J. S. Sutton, of the Seventh Regiment (Col. William Steele’s), in command of his battalion, and Capt. Willis L. Lang, of the Fifth, greatly distinguished themselves, and were both severely wounded; and I should not omit Lieut. D. M. Bass, of Captain Lang’s company, who was also severely wounded in front of the charge leading the Lancers upon the enemy.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. H. SIBLEY, Brigadier-General.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NEW MEXICO, Fort Bliss, Tex., May 4, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report, for the information of the Secretary of War, the operations of this army during the months of February, March, and April, ultimo:

This report is made to cover the whole campaign, for the reason that {p.507} the special reports of the various commanders, herewith inclosed, enter sufficiently into detail to elucidate the various actions in which the troops were engaged during the campaign.

It is due to the brave soldiers I have had the honor to command to premise that from its first inception the “Sibley brigade” has encountered difficulties in its organization and opposition and distaste to the service required at its hands which no other troops have met with.

From misunderstandings, accidents, deficiency of arms, &c., instead of reaching the field of its operations early in September, as was anticipated, I found myself at this point as late as the middle of January, 1862, with only two regiments and a half, poorly armed, thinly clad, and almost destitute of blankets. The ranks were becoming daily thinned by those two terrible scourges to an army small-pox and pneumonia. Not a dollar of quartermaster’s funds was on hand or ever had been to supply the daily and pressing necessities of the service, and the small means of this sparse section had been long consumed by the force under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Baylor, so that the credit of the Government was not as available a resource as it might otherwise have been.

Having established a general hospital at Doña Aña, I determined to move forward with the force at hand. Accordingly, during the first week in January [February?], the advance was put in march for old Fort Thorn; thence on the 7th of February the movement was continued to a point 7 miles below Fort Craig, where the Santa Fé papers boasted we were to be met and overwhelmed by Canby’s entire army.

On February 16 a reconnaissance in force was pushed to within a mile of the fort and battle offered on the open plain. The challenge was disregarded, and only noticed by the sending out of a few well-mounted men to watch our movements. The forces of the enemy were kept well concealed in the bosque (or grove) above the fort and within its walls.

The reconnaissance proved the futility of assaulting the fort in front with our light metal, and that our only hope of success was to force the enemy to an open-field fight. It was accordingly determined by a partial retrograde movement to cross the Rio Grande to the east bank, turn the fort, and force a battle for the recrossing. To do this involved, first, the hazardous necessity of crossing a treacherous stream in full view of the fort-second, to make a “dry camp” immediately opposite and remote from the fort, only a mile and a half, and the next day to fight our first battle. The enemy seemed to have been so confounded by the boldness and eccentricity of these movements that the first was accomplished without molestation, save a demonstration on the afternoon of the 20th, as we were forming our camp by the crossing, of some 2,500 infantry and cavalry, with the purpose apparently of making an assault upon our lines. Here the spirit and courage of our men were evidenced by the alacrity shown in getting into line to confront the enemy. A few rounds from our well-directed guns, under the management of Captain Teel, Lieutenants Riley and Woods, checked his advance and drove him to the cover of his sand-revetted mud walls.

It is proper to state here that these operations, approved by me, were conducted by Col. Thomas Green, of the Fifth Regiment, the state of my health having confined me to the ambulance for several days previous.

On the morning of the 21st, considering that the impending battle must decide the question at issue, though still very weak, I took the saddle at early dawn to direct in person the movement. Green’s regiment {p.508} with a battalion of the Seventh, under Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton, and Captain Teel’s battery, were ordered to make a strong, threatening demonstration on the fort, while Scurry, with the Fourth, well flanked by Pyron’s command on the left, should feel his way cautiously to the river.

This movement was unfortunately delayed by the loss during the night, by careless herding, of 100 mules of the baggage train of the Fourth Regiment. Rather than the plan should be defeated a number of wagons were abandoned, containing the entire kits, blankets, books, and papers of this regiment, and, meanwhile, what was left of the trains was kept in motion over the sand hills, which the enemy had deemed impossible.

On reaching the river bottom at Valverde it was ascertained that the enemy, anticipating our movement, had thrown a large force of infantry and cavalry up the river to dispute the water with us. Pyron immediately engaged him with his small force of 250 men, and gallantly held his ground against overwhelming odds until the arrival of Scurry with the Fourth Regiment and Lieutenant Riley’s battery of light howitzers.

At 12 m., the action becoming warm and the enemy evidently receiving large re-enforcements, I ordered Green’s regiment and Teel’s battery to the front. These in the course of an hour gallantly entered into action and the battle became general. Subsequently Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton, with his battalion, was ordered forward from the rear and did right good service, leading his men even to the cannon’s mouth.

At 1.30 p.m., having become completely exhausted, and finding myself no longer able to keep the saddle, I sent my aides and other staff officers to report to Colonel Green. His official report attests the gallantry of their bearing and his final success, resulting in the capture of their battery and driving the enemy in disorder from the field, and thus evidencing his own intrepidity and the indomitable courage of all engaged.

From information derived from reliable sources, the forces opposed to us could not have been less than 5,000 men, with a reserve of 3,000 at the fort. Ours did not exceed 1,750 on the field, viz: the Fourth Regiment, 600; Fifth, 600; Seventh, 300; and Pyron’s command (of Second Mounted Regiment Rifles), 250. This signal victory should have resulted in the capture of the fort, as fresh troops had been brought forward to pursue and follow the discomfited column of the enemy. A flag of truce was opportunely dispatched by the Federal commander before he reached the gates of his fort, and which was for two hours supposed by our troops to be a proposition to surrender.

This flag had for its object the burying of the dead and removal of their wounded; and I regret to state here, for the sake of old associations, that under this flag and another sent next day, the enemy, availing himself of our generosity and confidence in his honor, not only loaded his wagons with arms picked up on the battle-field, but sent a force up and actually succeeded in recovering from the river one 24-pounder which had been left in our hands. Even a guidon and a flag, taken in the same way, under the cover of night, and a white flag were boastingly pointed to, in an interview under a flag of truce between one of my aides and the Federal commander at the fort, as trophies of the fight.

The burying of the dead and care of the wounded occasioned a delay of two days on the field, thus leaving us with but five days’ scant rations. In this dilemma the question arose whether to assault the fort in this crippled condition or move rapidly forward up the river, {p.509} where supplies of breadstuffs and meat could be procured. The latter course, in a council of war, was adopted.

Depositing our sick at Socorro, 30 miles above Fort Craig, the march was uninterruptedly made to Albuquerque, where, notwithstanding the destruction by the enemy of large supplies by fire, ample subsistence was secured. A very considerable quantity of supplies and ammunition was also obtained at Cubero, a temporary post 60 miles west of Albuquerque. Other supplies were also taken at Santa Fé, and upon the whole we had a sufficiency for some three months.

It is due to the Fourth Regiment to mention at this place an action of devotion and self-sacrifice worthy of high praise, and the more commendable because they are Texans.

In the action at Valverde many of their horses were killed, thus leaving them half foot and half mounted. The proposition being made to them to dismount the whole regiment, without a dissenting voice, a cavalry regiment, which had proudly flaunted its banner before the enemy on the 20th, took the line of march on the 24th a strong and reliable regiment of infantry.

Having secured all the available stores in and about Albuquerque and dispatched Maj. Charles L. Pyron with his command to Santa Fé to secure such as might be found there,I determined to make a strong demonstration on Fort Union.

With this view Col. William R. Scurry, with The Fourth and the battalion of Colonel Steele’s regiment, under Maj. Powhatan Jordan, was pushed forward in the direction of Gallisteo, while Colonel Green, with his regiment (Fifth), being somewhat crippled in transportation, was held for a few days in hand to check any movement from Fort Craig.

Meanwhile the enemy (having received re-enforcements at Fort Union of 950 men from Pike’s Peak, on or about March 12) took the initiative and commenced a rapid march on Santa Fé.

Major Pyron, re-enforced by four companies of the Fifth Regiment, under Major Shropshire, receiving notice of this movement, advanced at once to meet him on the high road between Santa Fé and Fort Union.

On March 26th a sharp skirmish ensued, described in detail by that officer, wherein many acts of daring heroism were enacted. The company of “Brigandes” (independent volunteers), under the command of Capt. John Phillips, is said to have done good service. One of their number. Mr. Thomas Cator, was killed and 2 wounded. On this occasion, as on every previous one, this company showed a devotedness to the cause which has elevated them and inspired confidence throughout the army. Colonel Scurry reached the scene of action at daylight next morning, and the next day fought the battle of Glorieta, driving the enemy from the field with great loss.

His report is respectfully referred to for the details of this glorious action. Pending this action I was on my route to Santa Fé, in rear of Green’s regiment, which had, meanwhile, been put in march for that place, where, on my arrival, I found the whole exultant army assembled. The sick and wounded had been comfortably quartered and attended; the loss of clothing and transportation had been made up from the enemy’s stores and confiscations, and, indeed, everything done which should have been done.

Many friends were found in Santa Fé who had been in durance. Among the rest General William Pelham, who had but recently been released from a dungeon in Fort Union.

After the occupancy of the capital of the Territory for nearly a month from the time of our first advance upon it, the forage and supplies obtainable {p.510} there having become exhausted, it was determined to occupy, with the whole army, the village of Manzano, intermediate between Fort Union, Albuquerque, and Fort Craig, and securing as a line of communication the road to Fort Stanton.

This plan was disconcerted, however, by the rapid and continuous expresses from Albuquerque, urging the necessity of re-enforcements to hold the place (the depot of all our supplies) against the advancing forces of Canby from Fort Craig.

The entire force was accordingly moved by forced marches in the direction of Albuquerque, arriving-too late to encounter the enemy, but time enough to secure our limited supplies from the contingency of capture.

In our straightened circumstances the question now arose in my mind whether to evacuate the country or take the desperate chances of fighting the enemy in his stronghold (Union), for scant rations at the best. The course adopted was deemed the wisest.

On the morning of April 12 the evacuation commenced by the crossing of Scurry’s (Fourth) regiment, the battalion of Steele’s regiment, Pyron’s command, and a part of the artillery, by ferry and ford, to the west bank of the river, Green’s regiment was ordered to follow; but finding the ford to be difficult, he encamped for the night-on the east bank, hoping to be able on the ensuing morning to find a better ford lower down the river.

Accordingly on the next day that officer proceeded with his regiment as low down as Peralta, opposite Los Lunas, the point at which I had halted the balance of the army to await his arrival.

In the mean time Canby, having formed a junction with a large force from Fort Union, debouched through a cañon after night-fall to the neighborhood of the river, taking a commanding position in close proximity to Green’s camp, and in the morning opened a furious, but harmless, cannonade.

On being notified of the critical situation of this detached portion of the army the whole disposable force at Los Lunas, reserving a sufficient guard for the train, was dispatched to its relief. The passage of the river by this force and the artillery was successfully effected, under the direction of Colonel Scurry.

Following shortly after with a portion of my staff to assume the immediate command, and having crossed the river. I was notified by several officers who had preceded me some hundred yards of the rapid approach of a large number of the enemy’s cavalry. Finding myself completely Cut off, I had no other alternative than to recross the river amid a shower of balls. The day was occupied at Peralta in ineffectual firing on both sides.

After night-fall I gave orders for the recrossing of the whole army to the west bank of the river, which was effected without interruption or casualty, and on the next morning the march down the river was resumed. The enemy followed on the opposite bank, and both armies encamped in full view of each other, the river alone intervening.

The transportation and artillery had by this time become such an incumbrance on the heavy, sandy road, without forage or grass, that the abandonment of one or the other became inevitable. My original plan had been to push on by the river route in advance of the enemy having the start of him two whole days from Albuquerque to Fort Craig, attack the weak garrison, and demolish the fort. This plan was defeated by Colonel Green not finding a crossing of the river at a convenient point.

Colonels Green and Scurry, with several other practical officers, here {p.511} came forward and proposed, in order to avoid the contingency of another general action in our then crippled condition, that a route through the mountains, avoiding Fort Craig and striking the river below that point, should be pursued, they undertaking with their respective commands to push the artillery through at all hazards and at any expenditure of toil and labor. Maj. Bethel Coopwood, who had familiarized himself with the country, undertook the difficult and responsible task of guiding the army through this mountainous, trackless waste.

The arguments presented in favor of this course were potent. Besides having the advantage of grass and a firm road, with very little difference in distance, the enemy would be completely mystified, as afterwards proved to be the case. Accordingly, all the wagons which could possibly be dispensed with were ordered to be abandoned on the ground, seven days’ provisions to be packed on mules, and the entire force put in march after night-fall. The route was a difficult and most hazardous one, both in respect to its practicability and supply of water. The successful accomplishment of the march not only proved the sagacity of our guide, but the pledge of Colonel Scurry that the guns should be put over every obstacle, however formidable, by his regiment, was nobly fulfilled. Not a murmur escaped the lips of these brave boys. Descents into and ascents out of the deepest cañons, which a single horseman would have sought for miles to avoid, were undertaken and accomplished with a cheerfulness and ability which were the admiration and praise of the whole army. Thus in ten days, with seven days’ rations, a point on the river where supplies had been ordered forward was reached. The river, which was rising rapidly, was safely crossed to the east bank, under the direction of Colonel Green, and at this moment, I am happy to repeat, the whole force is comfortably quartered in the villages extending from Doña Aña to this place.

My chief regret in making this retrograde movement was the necessity of leaving hospitals at Santa Fé, Albuquerque, and Socorro. Everything, however, was provided for the comfort of the sick, and sufficient funds, in Confederate paper, provided them to meet every want, if it be negotiated. It has been almost impossible to procure specie upon any terms. One thousand dollars is all I have been able to procure for the use of hospitals and for secret service. The ricos, or wealthy citizens of New Mexico, had been completely drained by the Federal powers, and, adhering to them, had become absolute followers of their army for dear life and their invested dollars. Politically they have no distinct sentiment or opinion on the vital question at issue. Power and interest alone control the expression of their sympathies. Two noble and notable exceptions to this rule were found in the brothers Rafael and Manuel Armijo, the wealthiest and most respectable native merchants of New Mexico. The latter had been pressed into the militia, and was compulsorily present in the action at Valverde. On our arrival at Albuquerque they came forward boldly and protested their sympathy with our cause, placing their stores, containing goods amounting to $200,000, at the disposal of my troops.

When the necessity for evacuating the country became inevitable, these two gentlemen abandoned luxurious homes and well-filled storehouses to join their fate to the Southern Confederacy. I trust they will not be forgotten in the final settlement.

In concluding this report, already extended beyond my anticipations, it is proper that I should express the conviction, determined by some experience, that, except for its political geographical position, the Territory of New Mexico is not worth a quarter of the blood and treasure {p.512} expended in its conquest. As a field of military operations it possesses not a single element, except in the multiplicity of its defensible positions. The indispensable element, food, cannot be relied on. During the last year, and pending the recent operations, hundreds of thousands of sheep have been driven off by the Navajoes. Indeed, such were the complaints of the people in this respect that I had determined, as good policy, to encourage private enterprises against that tribe and the Apaches, and to legalize the enslaving of them.

As for the results of the campaign, I have only to say that we have beaten the enemy in every encounter and against large odds; that from being the worst armed my forces are now the best armed in the country. We reached this point last winter in rags and blanketless. The army is now well clad and well supplied in other respects. The entire campaign has been prosecuted without a dollar in the quartermaster’s department, Captain Harrison not having yet reached this place. But, sir, I cannot speak encouragingly for the future, my troops having manifested a dogged, irreconcilable detestation of the country and the people. They have endured much, suffered much, and cheerfully; but the prevailing discontent, backed up by the distinguished valor displayed on every field, entitles them to marked consideration and indulgence.

These considerations, in connection with the scant supply of provisions and the disposition of our own citizens in this section to depreciate our currency, may determine me, without waiting for instructions, to move by slow marches down the country, both for the purpose of remounting and recruiting our thinned ranks.

Trusting that the management of this more than difficult campaign, intrusted to me by the Government, may prove satisfactory to the President, I have the honor, general, to be, your obedient servant,

H. H. SIBLEY, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and inspector General, Richmond, Va.


No. 9.

Report of Maj. Charles L. Pyron, Second Texas Cavalry.

SOCORRO, N. MEX., February 27, 1862.

MAJOR: On the morning of the 21st instant I left our camp, opposite Fort Craig, with 180 men of my command, under Captains [James] Walker and [Isaac C.] Stafford, Lieutenant Nicholson, of Captain Coopwood’s Spy Company, and Lieutenant [William G.] Jett, Company B, Second Regiment Mounted Volunteers, to reconnoiter the road leading to the river near Valverde. Upon reaching the river I could see the water, with none of the enemy intervening. I immediately dispatched a note to the general commanding, stating the road was clear and the water in sight, and proceeded leisurely to the river to water our horses, they having been over twenty-four hours without water.

When I reached the woods I discovered a body of cavalry, which I supposed to be about four companies, and immediately gave chase, they withdrawing to my left. I followed until reaching the bank of a slough in the bottom, when I found myself in front of a large force of all arms. Immediately my men were formed along the bank, when the action {p.513} commenced, and for over one hour, by the courage and determination of the men, I was enabled to maintain the position in the unequal struggle, when I was relieved by the Fourth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, under the command of Lieut. Col. W. R. Scurry.

For nearly two hours our joint commands held our position against odds of three to one, checking every attempt to outflank us and checking every effort to drive us back. The arrival of Teel’s battery of artillery was the first re-enforcement we received, but it was soon followed by Major Lockridge’s battalion, of the Fifth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, and about 1 o’clock Colonel Green reached the field and took command.

Late in the afternoon a general charge was made along our line, by which a battery of artillery, consisting of six guns, was taken and their left driven back.

Following rapidly up our successes, the enemy were driven back at all points, and the field of Valverde was won.

It is proper to state that all the officers and men of my command behaved in the most gallant manner, and where all were equally brave it would be invidious to particularize. It is sufficient to say that it was a day on which deeds of personal valor were continually occurring.

I cannot consent to close this report without bearing my testimony to the gallant bearing and personal valor of Colonels Green, Scurry, and Sutton, and Majors Ragnet and Lockridge, and others equally courageous.

I have the honor to be, sir, yours, most respectfully,

C. L. PYRON, Major Second Texas Mounted Rangers.

Maj. A. M. JACKSON, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of New Mexico.


No. 10.

Report of Lieut. Col. William R. Scurry, Fourth Texas Cavalry.

VALVERDE, N. MEX., February 22, 1862.

MAJOR: Early on the morning of yesterday, while the army was encamped on the east side of the Rio Grande, opposite Fort Craig, I received orders to march with my command, Fourth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, and take possession at as early an hour as practicable of some point on the river above Fort Craig at which water might be obtained. By 8 o’clock the regiment took up the line of march, accompanied by Capt. George M. Frazier, of Major Pyron’s battalion, with his company acting as guide for the command. Supposing that we were the advance of the army, to prevent surprise I ordered Major H. W. Ragnet to take the advance, with four companies and Captain Frazier’s company, throwing out at the same time front and flank patrols. In a short time I learned that Major Pyron, with 180 men, was in our advance. Aware of the great vigilance of that active officer, I recalled Major Ragnet and reunited the regiment. A report was received from Major Pyron that the road was clear of the enemy and the river in sight; but in a short time a second message was received, through Capt. John Phillips, from the major, informing me that large masses of the {p.514} enemy were in his front and threatening an attack. As his force was but small, I was fearful that he would be overpowered before we could reach him, and accordingly pushed forward, guided by Captain Phillips, as rapidly as our horses could carry us, to his relief and found him gallantly maintaining a most unequal contest against vastly superior numbers. Dismounting may command, we formed on his right and joined in the conflict. For near two hours we held our position in front of an enemy now known to be near 3,000 strong, while our own forces were not over 700 in number. Immediately upon reaching the field Captain Frazier joined the command to which he belonged, where he did good service during the remainder of the day.

Upon opening fire with the light howitzer battery, under Lieut. John Riley, it was found to be ineffectual against the heavier metal of the enemy. It was therefore ordered to cease firing and be withdrawn under cover.

At about 1 o’clock Captain Ted, with two guns of his battery, reached the ground. Being placed in position on our right he opened a galling fire upon the left flank of the enemy, whereupon the enemy commenced a furious cannonade upon him from their entire battery, consisting of eight guns. So heavy was their fire that the captain soon found himself with but five men to work the two guns. A bomb exploding under his pieces had set the grass on fire; still, this gallant officer held his position and continued his firing upon the enemy, himself seizing the rammer and assisting to load the piece.

Seeing his situation, I ordered Lieutenant Riley, with his command, to join him and assist in the efficient working of the guns. During the balance of the day this brave little band performed the duty assigned them. Judging by the heavy firing on the left that Major Pyron was hard pressed, Captain Teel, with more of his guns, which had just reached the ground, was dispatched to his relief. Major Ragnet, with four companies of the regiment, was ordered to maintain our position there. I remained on the right with the balance of my command and two pieces of Teel’s battery, under Lieut. J. H. McGinnis, to hold in check the enemy, who were moving in large force in that direction to turn our flank. About this time Major Lockridge, of the Fifth Regiment, arrived on the field and reported himself with a portion of that command. He was ordered to join our troops on the left. During all this time the fire of the enemy had been extremely heavy, while, owing to the shorter range of most of our guns, our fire was reserved until they should approach sufficiently near our position to come within range of our arms, when they were invariably repulsed with loss. Soon after the arrival of Major Lockridge Colonel Green reached the field and assumed command.

At about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, in extending our line to prevent the enemy from turning our right, I found myself with only two companies, Captain [William P.] Hardeman’s and [James M.] Crosson’s, opposed to a force numbering some 400 men, the other four companies being several hundred yards to my left. It was there that that daring charge was made by Captain Lang, of the Fifth Regiment, with a small body of lancers. But desperate courage was ineffectual against great odds and superior arms, and this company there sustained the greatest loss of life of any company of the brigade. This charge, otherwise unfortunate, had the effect of bringing the enemy within range of our guns, when the two pieces of Captain Teel’s battery and the small-arms of Captains Hardeman’s and Crosson’s companies opened an effective fire upon them, before which they rapidly retreated with considerable {p.515} loss. Just before sunset Lieut. Thomas P. Ochiltree, of General Sibley’s staff, brought an order to prepare for a charge all along the line.

All prepared for its prompt execution, and when the words “Up boys, and at them!” were given, straight at their battery of six guns supported by columns of infantry and cavalry, some 700 yards in front of our position, went our brave volunteers, unmindful of the driving storm of grape and canister and musket balls sent hurling around them. With yells and ringing shouts they dashed on and on, until the guns were won and the enemy in full retreat before them. After carrying the battery, their guns were turned upon themselves, Captains Hardeman and Walker manning those on the right. Lieutenant Ragnet, of Riley’s battery, being on the ground, I placed one gun in his charge, manning it with such of the men as were nearest. The rammer being gone, a flag-staff was used in its stead. Captain Teel coming up, an effective fire was kept up as long as the enemy was in reach. In the mean time a most timely and gallant charge was made by Major Ragnet from our left, thus effecting a favorable diversion at the moment of our charge upon their battery. This charge by Major Ragnet and his command was characterized by desperate valor.

In the last brilliant and successful charge, which decided the fortunes of the day, there were six companies of the Fourth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, under their respective captains, Hardeman, Crosson, [Charles M.] Lesueur, [W. W.] Foard, [George J.] Hampton, and [D. A.] Nunn. Besides those, I saw Captains [John S.] Shropshire, [J. G.] Killough, and [H. A.] McPhaill, of the Fifth Regiment, and Captain Walker, of Major Pyron’s battalion.

The brave and lamented Major Lockridge, of the Fifth Regiment, fell almost at the muzzle of the enemy’s guns.

Major Pyron was also in the thickest of the fray, and contributed much by his example to the success of the charge, as did also Lieutenant Ochiltree, of the general’s staff.

There were others there whom I now regret my inability to name. Where all, both officers and men, behaved so well it is impossible to say who is the most deserving of praise. The enemy retired across the river, and were in full retreat when Major Ragnet, Captains Shannon, Adair, [W. L.] Alexander, [Charles] Buckholts, and Lieut. A. S. Thurmond reached the field with their companies, mounted. I asked and obtained permission from Colonel Green to cross the river with these companies to pursue the flying foe.

When the head of the column reached the opposite shore we were ordered to return. Night closed in on the hard-won field of Valverde. This brilliant victory, which, next to Heaven, we owe to the heroic endurance and unfaltering courage of our volunteer soldiers, was not won without loss. Of the regiment which I have the honor to command there were 8 killed and 56 wounded, 2 of which were mortal.

It affords me great pleasure to be able to bear testimony to the calm, cool, and discriminating courage of Col. Thomas Green during the fight. Major Pyron also deserves great credit for his soldiery bearing from the commencement to the close of the battle. Of the general’s staff Major Jackson was early on the ground, as was also Major Brownrigg, Captain Dwyer, and Lieutenant Ochiltree, actively engaged in the discharge of the duties assigned them. Each of these gentlemen exhibited that high courage which I hope will ever distinguish the officers of the army. To Majors Jackson and Brownrigg I am under obligations for valuable aid in the early part of the action.

It is due to the adjutant of this regiment, Ellsberry R. Lane, that I {p.516} should not close this report without stating that he was actively and bravely engaged in the discharge of his duties on horseback until his horse failed, when, taking a gun, he entered the ranks of Captain Hampton’s company, and did duty as a private during the remainder of the day.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. SCURRY, Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Fourth Regt. Texas Mounted Vols.

A. M. JACKSON, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of New Mexico.


No. 11.

Report of Maj. Henry W. Ragnet, Fourth Texas Cavalry.


MAJOR: About sunrise on the 21st instant, while in camp opposite Fort Craig, I was ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry to take four companies of the Fourth Texas Mounted Volunteers to which would be added Captain Frazier’s company, from Major Pyron’s battalion, and march as an advance to the river at the best point for approaching it above the fort, supposed to be about 6 miles distant. After marching about 3 miles I was ordered to halt and join Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry, who was approaching with other companies of the regiment and Lieutenant Riley’s artillery.

Our course was then changed for a nearer point on the river. After a half-hour’s march, while descending a canon, the rapid advance of the head of our column gave notice that we were approaching the enemy, and, emerging into the valley, the firing of skirmishers told that Major Pyron, who had been marching on our left flank, was already engaged with the enemy. A half mile gallop brought us within range of the enemy’s artillery, when Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry ordered us to dismount and advance, when we were soon within range of their small-arms, and took position on the right of Major Pyron, behind a low bank, about 9 a.m.

After we had taken this position about half an hour the enemy moved up on our right with the evident intention of flanking us, which at the time would have been fatal, when Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry, dividing the command, assigned that position to me, and moved up to the position occupied by him during the day, and checked their advance.

The troops at this time with me were Major Pyron, with his battalion of 180 men, under Captains Walker, Stafford, and Frazier, and Lieutenants Nicholson and Jett, and four companies of the Fourth Regiment, under Captains [A. J.] Scarborough, Buckholts, Heuvel, and Alexander.

About noon one piece of Captain Teel’s battery, under Lieutenant [James] Bradford, was added to my position, which did good service until the heavier metal of the enemy silenced it. Soon after the arrival of this gun Major Lockridge arrived with three companies of the Fifth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, under Captains [John S.] Shropshire, [G. W.] Campbell, and [Daniel H.] Ragsdale, and Major Pyron, and Lieutenant Bradford’s commands were withdrawn to the right. Major {p.517} Lockridge called my attention to the gun, which had been partly disabled and silenced, on our left, at the foot of the mesa, where it had been placed in an endeavor to disable the enemy’s battery on the west bank of the river. I ordered Company B, Fourth Regiment, Captain Scarborough, to the rescue, and with part of that company, under their captain and Sergeant Nelson, of Company H, Fourth Regiment, Captain Alexander, and some of that company, I succeeded in drawing the gun by hand from its perilous position amid the hottest cannonading on that part of the field, losing only 1 man killed and a few wounded.

The horses of this gun had nearly all been killed by the enemy’s artillery. This gun was then used by three of Lieutenant Riley’s company, assisted by a few others, until I ordered the fire discontinued for want of gunners, leaving it double-shotted, to await an anticipated charge of the enemy. The enemy threatened us in such great numbers and their fire was so heavy that Major Lockridge and myself each sent messengers to Colonel Green for re-enforcements; failing to get which, Major Lockridge deemed it prudent to fall back to a sand bank, about 100 yards in our rear, which was done by companies, after the artillery and the wounded had been removed. This gave us a better position, as the ground was somewhat broken in front.

The section of Teel’s artillery was now withdrawn to the right, leaving only one howitzer, under Lieutenant Woods, who had arrived at our new position. Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton now arrived on the field, approaching in our rear, when a messenger was dispatched asking that he be ordered to remain by us.

He soon marched up to the right and then returned. Major Lockridge now told me that we were to move up and join the forces on the right for a charge; that he would cover any movement to get my horses, which were on the left and rear. Ordering the companies of the Fourth Regiment to horse, I soon marched up on the right in the rear of the rest of the command, dismounted, and ordering the companies then with me, under Captains Buckholts, Heuvel, and Alexander, of the Fourth, and Captain Ragsdale, of the Fifth, into line to advance.

Colonel Green rode up and ordered me to reserve my command for a charge as cavalry. No sooner were we mounted than an order came by Major Pyron to move down on the left and menace the enemy, now flanking us in large force. Marching down to within 600 yards I dismounted my command under cover, when I was joined by Captain Scarborough, of the Fourth, and received an order through Captain Dwyer to charge the enemy.

Aligning in single rank, I charged to within about 100 yards of the enemy’s lines, composed of infantry, supported by cavalry on each flank and in the rear and by artillery on their right, when, hooking back, I saw great confusion from the wounded and fallen horses, for we had aligned and advanced under the heavy fire of their infantry and artillery. I thought we could not break their lines, and ordered my command to fall back and rally at the sand bank which we had left on our rear and left. When I had arrived at the sand bank I found that most of my command had passed it for some others still on their left, and that the position was untenable, as the enemy’s artillery now raked it. I ordered those there to follow those yet in advance, and, rallying, we could return.

Finding Lieutenant Woods, with one howitzer, uselessly exposed under the enemy’s fire, I ordered him to a position between the enemy and the train, to protect it as well as he could, and ordering such of my command as I met to join in the action on the right, I galloped down, {p.518} then too late, however, to participate in that brilliant charge which gape us the victory.

A few moments after reaching the river bank Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry asked permission of Colonel Green to cross and pursue the enemy with some fresh companies that had just come up, which permission being granted, I joined with my command who were present, and as the head of our column gained the opposite shore we were ordered back., Shortly after the arrival of the flag of truce ended the battle of Valverde after sunset.

During the entire day my position on the left was under a constant fire of the enemy’s heaviest artillery, and their small-arms, whose longer range enabled them to keep out of our small-arm range. When they threatened an advance and would reach our aim they were repulsed.

The gallant Major Lockridge, of the Fifth, while in command of the left, won the admiration of all who saw him, and whose regrets are now mingled with those of his other friends at his death. The brave Heuvel, of this command, who fell in the charge he had so impatiently waited for, added another to the list of our gallant dead at Valverde.

For the officers and privates whom I had the honor to command on that day I can well say that they have never faltered in their dangerous duty; and for those, less than 200, whom I led to the charge against more than eight times their numbers, together with artillery, the recital of the act is their praise. This charge, though at the cost of nearly one-fifth the men and horses in killed and wounded, succeeded in checking the flank movement of the enemy in time to enable the charge which won the day to be made.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY W. RAGNET, Major, Fourth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers.

A. M. JACKSON, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of New Mexico.


No. 12.

Report of Col. Thomas Green, Fifth Texas Cavalry.

CAMP VALVERDE, N. MEX., February 22, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor of submitting to you the following report of the battle of Valverde, fought on yesterday by a part of the brigade of General Sibley, under my command:

While in the act of turning Fort Craig, on the east side of the Rio Grande, Major Pyron, with 200 men, was sent to reconnoiter, early on the morning of the 21st, the route around the mesa, north of the fort, and secure a footing on the river above. While Major Pyron was approaching the river with his command the enemy appeared in considerable numbers between his command and the river on the north of the mesa, and opened on him, about 5 o’clock, a heavy fire of artillery and small-arms. The gallant Pyron, with his brave little force, kept up the unequal contest for an hour or two, until the arrival of Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry with a part of his regiment, and Lieutenant Riley’s howitzer battery. Scurry took position on the right of Pyron, and both {p.519} kept up the contest and maintained their position behind a low line of sand hills. About this time one section of Captain Ted’s battery came up and took position and replied to the fire of the enemy.

At 12 o’clock, while, under the orders of the general, I was threatening the fort on the south side of the mesa, I received his orders to move up, with all my disposable force, to the support of Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry and Major Pyron, after leaving a sufficient force to protect the train which was then moving from our late camp around the mesa to the battle ground, and which was stretched out for several miles. Our train was threatened by a considerable body of troops of the enemy, who made their appearance on the mesa. Detaching Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton’s command and a detachment from my own regiment to protect the train, I moved up, with as much speed as practicable, with eight companies of my regiment, sending forward Major Lockridge, with the two companies of lancers, under Captains Lang and [Jerome B.] McCown. My companies were placed in the line of battle, between Pyron on the left and Scurry on the right, except three, which were sent by me, under Lieutenant-Colonel [H. C.] McNeill, to drive the enemy from the north point of the mesa, where they were annoying our left and threatening our train.

After these dispositions I moved up to the line of battle myself, and by the orders of the general took command of the forces present. The enemy during the day, and, with little intermission, kept up a brisk cannonade upon us, to which our 6-pounders, under Captain Teel, replied with effect. The enemy repeatedly advanced with their skirmishers to near our lines, killing many of our horses tied in the rear.

About 3 p.m. a most galling fire was opened upon Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry’s command, on our right, by 300 or 400 of the enemy’s riflemen. Captain Lang, of the Fifth Regiment, with about 40 of his lancers, made at this time one of the most gallant and furious charges on these light troops of the enemy ever witnessed in the annals of battles. His little troop was decimated, and the gallant captain and Lieutenant Bass severely wounded-the latter in seven places. The enemy were repulsed by this gallant charge, and our right was for some time unmolested.

Large bodies of the enemy’s infantry having crossed the river about 3.30 p.m., bringing over with them six pieces of splendid artillery, took position in front of us, on the bank of the river, at a distance of 600 yards. In addition to this body of troops two 24-pounder howitzers were placed on our left flank by the enemy. These were supported by a regiment of infantry and a regiment of cavalry. The heaviest fire of the whole day was opened about this time on our left, which was under the command of the gallant Lockridge. Our brave men on that part of the line maintained the unequal fight with desperate courage, though overwhelmingly outnumbered. Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton, now coming up with part of his battalion, took position on our left.

The enemy, now being on our side of the river, opened upon us a tremendous fire of round shot, grape, and shell. Their force in numbers was vastly superior to ours; but, having the most unbounded confidence in the courage of our troops, I ordered a charge on their battery and infantry of regulars in front, and at the same time Major Ragnet, of the Fourth, with four companies of the same, and Captain Ragsdale’s company, of the Fifth, were directed by me to charge as cavalry upon the infantry and Mexican cavalry and the two 24-pounder howitzers on our left flank.

Our dismounted troops in front were composed of parts of the Fourth {p.520} and Fifth Regiments Texas Mounted Volunteers and parts of Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton’s and most of Pyron’s battalions, and Teel’s, Riley’s, and Wood’s batteries of artillery, numbering about 730 on the ground. Major Ragnet’s cavalry numbered about 250, making about 1,000 men in the charge.

At the command to charge, our men leaped over the sand bank, which had served as a good covering to them, and dashed over the open plain, thinly interspersed with cottonwood trees, upon the battery and infantry of the enemy in front, composed of United States Regulars and Denver City Volunteers, and in a most desperate charge and hand-to-hand conflict completely overwhelmed them, killing most of their gunners around their cannon and driving the infantry into the river. Never were double-barreled shot-guns and rifles used to better effect. A large number of the enemy were killed in the river with shot-guns and six-shooters in their flight.

While we were occupied with the enemy in front Major Ragnet made a gallant and most timely charge upon the infantry and cavalry of the enemy on our left flank. This charge was made against ten times the number of Ragnet’s force, and although we suffered severely and were compelled to fall back, he effected the object of his mission, and occupied the attention of our powerful enemy on the left, while our dismounted men were advancing upon those in front and running them into the river.

So soon as the enemy had fled in disorder from our terrible fire in front we turned upon his infantry and cavalry and 24-pounders on our left flank, just engaged by Major Ragnet. We charged them as we had those in front, but they were not made of as good stuff as the regulars, and a few fires upon them with their own artillery and Teel’s guns, a few volleys of small-arms, and the old Texas war-shout completely dispersed them. They fled from the field, both cavalry and infantry, in the utmost disorder, many of them dropping their guns to lighten their heels, and stopping only under the walls of the fort. Our victory was complete. The enemy must have been 3,000 strong, while our force actually engaged did not exceed 600. Six splendid pieces of artillery and their entire equipage fell into our hands; also many fine small-arms.

This splendid victory was not achieved without severe loss to us.

Major Lockridge, of the Fifth, fell at the mouth of the enemy’s guns, gallantly heading our brave troops to the assault.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton, of the Seventh, fell mortally wounded at the head of his battalion while assaulting the enemy’s battery.

Several of our officers were desperately wounded; so me of them no doubt mortally. Among them are the gallant Captain Lang, of the Lancers, and Lieutenant Bass, both of Company B, and Lieut. D. A. Hubbard, of Company A, Fifth Regiment.

Captain Heuvel, of the Fourth, fell in the gallant cavalry charge of Major Ragnet. He was one of the most distinguished of the heroes of the day. Like the gallant Lang, of the Fifth, he could not appreciate odds in a battle.

I cannot say enough in praise of the gallantry of our surviving officers and men. It would be invidious to mention names. Were I to do so, the rolls of captains, lieutenants, and men would have to be here inserted. I will only mention the principal field and staff in the engagement. The cheering voice of Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry was heard where the bullets fell thickest on the field. Lieutenant Colonel McNeill, and the gallant Major Pyron, who has been before mentioned, displayed the most undaunted courage. Major Ragnet, of the Fourth, though {p.521} wounded, remained at his post, and retired not until the field was won. These were the field officers present, as I have just stated. The captains, lieutenants, and men in the action displayed so much gallantry that it would be invidious to make distinctions. They fought with equal valor and are entitled to equal credit with the field and staff here mentioned.

I will not close this report without a just meed of praise to the general staff; who served me as aides-decamp during the day. Col. W. L. Robards was in the dashing charge of the gallant Lang, and wounded in several places.

Capt. Tom P. Ochiltree, aide-de-camp to General Sibley, was exceedingly useful to me on the field and active during the whole engagement. He assisted me in the most critical moment to cheer our men to the assault. He deserves the highest praise for his undaunted chivalry and coolness, and I recommend him to the general for promotion.

Captain Dwyer was also very useful, gallant, and active during the whole action.

I cannot close without the mention of Captain Frazier, of the Arizona Volunteers. To him, more than all others, we are indebted for the successful turning of Fort Craig. He led us over the high ground around the mesa to the east of the fort, where we at all times had the advantage of the enemy in case he had attacked us in the act of turning the fort.

I will only personalize further by the mention of my own regimental staff.

Sergt. Maj. C. B. Sheppard shouldered his gun and fought gallantly in the ranks of Captain McPhaill’s company in the charge. Lieut. Joseph D. Sayers, adjutant of the Fifth, during the whole day, reminded me of a hero of the days of chivalry. He is a gallant, daring, and dashing soldier, and is as cool in a storm of grape, shell, canister, and musketry as a veteran. I recommend him, through the general, to the President for promotion.

Our killed and wounded are as follows:

2d Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, Major Pyron’s command4171
4th Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry’s command.836
5th Texas Mounted Volunteers, Colonel Green’s regiment2067
7th Regiment Texas Mounted volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton’s command.226
Teel’s battery24

Since which time Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton, of the Seventh, and 2 privates of the Fifth, and 2 of Ted’s battery, have died from wounds received in battle.

The enemy’s loss was far greater than ours. The precise number cannot be ascertained by us, as many were killed in the river, and as the enemy’s white flag, asking permission to gather up their dead and wounded, came almost before the sound of the last cannon had ceased to reverberate in the hills. It is confidently asserted and believed by many of our officers and men that the enemy, under the flag of truce, picked up many small-arms and carried them off with the dead-wagons; {p.522} that they also carried off their two 24-pounder howitzers which were left by them in the river. It is certain that during the cessation of hostilities they picked up a company flag and guidon of my regiment, left on the field during our charge, while they were gathering up their wounded and dead; and it is said these are considered by them as trophies. I do not believe that the commanding officer of the enemy is aware of these facts, as he would not have spoken of stolen flags as trophies.

I think, from the best information in my possession, that the enemy’s loss must have been in killed and wounded at least 350 or 400. Among their killed were several gallant officers. The gallant McRae fell at his guns. Several other captains and lieutenants were killed. Captain Rossell, of the Tenth U. S. Infantry, and several privates of the Fifth and Tenth Infantry and Denver City Volunteers, were taken prisoners.

Respectfully submitted.

THOMAS GREEN, Colonel Fifth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers.

Maj. A. M. JACKSON, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of New Mexico.


No. 13.

Report of Col. William Steele, Seventh Texas Cavalry.

CAMP NEAR FILLMORE, N. MEX., March 1, 1862.

GENERAL: I have received a verbal express from General Sibley, the numerous parties of Mexicans in the employ of the enemy rendering it dangerous to write. Our forces turned the enemy’s position by crossing the river to the east side, which drew him out of his intrenchments, and an engagement ensued just above Fort Craig, which commenced about 9 o’clock on the morning of February 21, and lasted, with little intermission until near sunset, when the enemy was driven in confusion from the field. We captured seven pieces of artillery and a considerable number of small-arms were picked up. Much of the Mexican portion of the enemy fled to the hills. The regulars and Pike’s Peak Volunteers returned to the fort. Our forces were encamped on the field when my informants left. Our loss is stated at 38 killed and 106 wounded. Major Lockridge is recollected as one-of the killed. General Sibley had been sick some days previous to the action, and the command devolved upon Col. Thomas Green, who was in command most of the day, General Sibley being unable to remain long upon the field.

This account agrees with the information I had a few days previous as to the contemplated movement. I received this intelligence the day after the stage left for San Antonio and have delayed writing, hoping to get some more particulars, but as yet have none.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. STEELE, Colonel Seventh Texas Mounted Regiment.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.



No. 14.

Report of Capt. Powhatan Jordan, Seventh Texas Cavalry.

IN CAMP NEAR SOCORRO, N. MEX., February 27, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the First Battalion of the Seventh Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers in the battle of Valverde, N. Mex., on February 21. The First Battalion of the Seventh Regiment, under command of Lieut. Col. J. S. Sutton, with Companies C and H of the Fifth Regiment, were detailed as a guard for the transportation on the morning of the 21st. Before the train had gotten fairly out of camp we were apprised of the fight having commenced at Valverde Crossing of the Rio Grande by hearing the sullen roar of cannon. The train being in danger of attack, we were kept in position as the guard, and all thought for a time the Seventh would have no share in the conflict; but in about two hours after the commencement of the battle an officer appeared with the order for us to move on to the battle-field. Colonel Sutton detached from his command Companies A and F, of the Seventh, and Company C, of the Fifth, to remain, and then gave the order to forward, when the remainder of his command, consisting of Companies B, F, and I, of the Seventh, and F, of the Fifth, moved on to the scene of action. We went at a gallop, and were met on the field by Major Lockridge, who ordered us to take position on the left. We were here held for an hour or more, running the gauntlet by countermarch under a most galling and destructive fire from their batteries.

While in this position we lost 2 men and some 3 horses killed. The battle having now continued several hours, the charge was ordered, and the Seventh was most gallantly led in the charge by Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton, who fell mortally wounded when within 20 paces of the enemy’s battery. The battle was now soon ended, and victory was ours, though purchased by the Seventh with the death of the heroic Sutton. The Seventh did its duty bravely, nobly, all acting gallantly.

To make mention of individuals would be unjust. They all shared equally the dangers of the field, and all deserve equal praise. To Capt. Redden S. Pridgen and his company (H, of the Fifth), who acted with our command, we must give great credit for their coolness and gallantry, and wish himself and company to share with us whatever credit may fall to our command.

Accompanying is the list* of killed and wounded, together with the horses killed in the battle, as furnished me by captains of companies.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

POWHATAN JORDAN, Captain, Comdg. First Battalion, Seventh Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, Army of N. Mex.

General H. H. SIBLEY, C. S. Army.

* Not found.


No. 15.

Report of Capt. Trevanion T. Teel, Texas Light Artillery.

CAMP LOCKRIDGE, N. MEX., February 27, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report to the general commanding the {p.524} Army of New Mexico the operations of the light battery which I had the honor to command in the battle of Valverde, N. Mex., on February 21.

I received orders on the morning of the 21st, at camp, 5 miles below the battle-ground, and opposite Fort Craig, to detach one section of the battery, under Lieutenant [James] Bradford, to march in the front of the column and head of the train to Valverde, and place the other section and remain myself in rear with the Second Regiment of Sibley’s brigade, which orders were executed.

About an hour after the head of the column had moved I received intelligence that a large body of the enemy’s cavalry, infantry, and artillery had taken up the line of march for Valverde.

I then placed the section of the battery in command of Lieutenants [Jordan W.] Bennett and [Joseph H.] McGinnis, and went to the head of the column; before reaching the head of the train I heard the firing of the advance at Valverde.

I found Lieutenant Bradford, with his section, at the head of the train, and ordered the pieces to the place of firing at a gallop, and in a few minutes it was placed in battery about the center of Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry’s regiment, and commenced firing upon the battery of the enemy and his line in a few minutes. I lost 1 man killed and 2 wounded, which left but 5 cannoneers to man the two pieces. I then kept up the fire alternately with the pieces. Finding it impossible to use the pieces with steady and effective fire, I called upon Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry for men to fill up the detachments of the guns, which were immediately sent from Lieutenant Riley’s company of howitzers. After sustaining the action for some time the enemy changed his front. I then placed the section in another position.

Lieutenants Bennett and McGinnis having by this time reached our line, I ordered them to place their section in battery, which they did, and opened upon the enemy with good effect.

From the great length of the enemy’s line and his superior number I found it necessary to detach the pieces. Lieutenant Bradford was sent to the extreme left flank with his piece to support Majors Lockridge and Pyron’s commands, which had been engaged with the enemy for more than an hour; Lieutenant McGinnis, with his gun, on the right of Major Lockridge’s battalion; Lieutenant Bennett at the center of the right flank, and the other piece at the extreme right flank; Lieutenant Riley, with his battery of howitzers, on the left wing, and Lieutenant Woods, with his battery of howitzers, on the right wing. The different pieces and howitzers changed positions, however, during the action as circumstances required, and were used with effect whenever the enemy presented a front or his battery in view.

Having received orders that our troops were about to charge the enemy, I placed the guns in battery upon the extreme right flank as a reserve, in case the charge was unsuccessful, so that I could open the line of the enemy with raking shots or engage his battery until our troops would prevent my firing by their closing with the enemy. The charge was made by our line, and in eight minutes his battery was captured and his troops completely routed. Lieutenant Ochiltree, aide-de-camp, rode back and ordered the guns forward, which order was executed, and soon the enemy’s guns, as well as ours, were opened on his retreating forces. Firing was kept up from our guns until the enemy’s rear was out of range of them; I then ordered the firing to cease.

I lost 4 men killed, including 2 who died the day after the battle, {p.525} and 6 wounded; 25 horses killed and wounded, one gun partially disabled, and eight sets of harness rendered unserviceable.

I refer with great pleasure to the gallant conduct of Lieutenants Bennett, McGinnis, and Bradford, of my company, as well as Lieutenants Riley, Woods, Ragnet, and Falcrod, of the batteries of howitzers; also of the non-commissioned officers and privates of all the batteries.

I cannot close my report without bearing testimony to the bravery and coolness of the officers under whom I acted during this sanguinary and well-contested battle. Colonel Green, and especially Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry, who so promptly manned my guns from his regiment (the First), and who was present with my guns under the heavy fire in the morning, and whose voice was heard above the din of battle and smoke, and flame, and death, encouraging the men to stand by their posts. Also the lamented Lockridge; Major Jackson, assistant adjutant-general; Major Brownrigg, brigade commissary; Lieutenant-Colonel McNeill and Lieutenant Ochiltree, aide-de-camp, who were rallying the men to the charge and were in the line leading on the troops; also Captain Dwyer, of the staff, Colonel Robards, and Major Ragnet. Also the deep obligations I am under to Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry, and Captain Scarborough and his company, who hauled out a disabled piece by hand under a hot fire; to Captains Campbell, McPhaill, and Killough, and their respective companies, for the promptness and willingness with which they replaced the killed and wounded at my guns, many of their comrades having been killed and wounded while aiding in manning the battery during the action.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. T. TEEL, Captain, Artillery.

Maj. A. M. JACKSON, Assistant Adjutant-General, C. S. Army.


FEBRUARY 22, 1862.–Engagement in Aransas Bay, Tex.


No. 1.–Col. H. E. McCulloch, C. S. Army, commanding Western Military District.
No. 2.–Capt. B. F. Neal, C. S. Army, commanding.

No. 1.

Letter of Col. H. E. McCulloch, C. S. Army, commanding Western Military District.


SIR: I inclose a report from Capt. B. F. Neal, commanding at Aransas.

Major Yager, with his two cavalry, companies, are there before this time. I sent the ammunition required by Captain Neal with Major Yager’s cavalry when they went down. This re-enforcement and ammunition will be sufficient, I hope, to enable them to defend that section until better can be done.


I regret that the 18-pounders sent from Galveston have been delayed.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. E. MCCULLOCH, Colonel, Commanding Western Military District.

Maj. SAMUEL BOYER DAVIS, Assistant Adjutant-General.


No. 2.

Report of Capt. B. F. Neal, C. S. Army, commanding.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP ARANSAS, TEX., February 22, 1862-9 p.m.

COLONEL: I have just returned to camp this moment, and hasten to communicate to you the movements of the enemy this evening. At 3.30 o’clock this evening the enemy appeared within 3 miles of our camp with two launches, captured a sloop boat bound for Corpus Christi, and took from her a lot of medicines and other articles for the Government-I presume this command. Two or three of my men were oystering and gave the alarm. I immediately ordered out my command, got aboard all the boats I could raise, and went in pursuit. We overtook one of the launches in Aransas Bay and engaged them. The wind was ahead, consequently we were prevented from capturing them, as they could out-travel us with their horses. They returned our fire, but none of our men were injured. We drove them within range of their guns. Night coming on, we retired.

I do not know what effect our Minie rifles had upon them, but I presume some one must have been hurt.

We should have re-enforcements and powder. I made a requisition, through Major Yager, when at San Antonio, for ammunition, but it has not arrived yet. All we want is powder for our two pieces of ordnance-6-pounders.

The enemy is becoming quite bold and daring, and will destroy the commerce of these bays unless checked in their buccaneering. I shall do all I can to annoy them and keep them back until we are better prepared. They have the advantage of us, possessing better boats and being more accustomed to them than we are.

Excuse this hastily-written letter. I shall give further particulars of our skirmish this evening.

Yours, respectfully,

BENJ. F. NEAL, Captain, Commanding Troops near Shell Bank.

Col. H. E. MCCULLOCH, Comdg. Western Military District, Department of Texas.


MARCH 2-4, 1862.–Evacuation of Albuquerque and Santa Fé, N. Mex., by Union forces.


No. 1.–Maj. James L. Donaldson, Quartermaster, U. S. Army, commanding District of Santa Fé, N. Mex
No. 2.–Capt. Herbert M. Enos, Assistant Quartermaster, U. S. Army.


No. 1.

Report of Maj. James L. Donaldson, Quartermaster, U. S. Army, commanding District of Santa Fé, N. Mex.

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Union, N. Mex., March 10, 1862.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in consequence of the near approach of the enemy, and his not having troops to defend the place, Captain Enos, assistant quartermaster, abandoned Albuquerque on the 2d instant, having first loaded up a train with his most valuable stores, started it to Santa Fé, and destroyed the rest. His report is herewith inclosed. On the 4th instant I deemed it necessary to pursue the same course, as Santa Fé was not defensible, being commanded on all sides by hills, and the safety of the train, composed of 120 wagons, loaded with the most valuable stores in the department, required a strong escort. Its value could not have been less than a quarter of a million of dollars, and its safety was a matter of paramount importance. I am glad to say that it has arrived under the guns of Fort Union, and that the enemy has gained nothing of importance along the line. The force I brought from Santa Fé consists of Captain Lewis’ company, Fifth Infantry; Captain Ford’s company, Colorado Volunteers; Lieutenant Banks’ company (E), Third Cavalry, and two mounted howitzers, under Lieut. C. J. Walker, Second Cavalry. Some volunteers also accompanied me, under Lieut. Col. Manuel Chavez, but all of them except the lieutenant-colonel and some officers deserted on the march. I beg to call your attention to Capt. W. H. Lewis, Fifth Infantry, whose efficiency was of great service to me in evacuating the town and in conducting the train to Union.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. L. DONALDSON, Major, Commanding District Santa Fé Col. G. R. PAUL, Commanding Port Union.


No. 2.

Report of Capt. Herbert M. Enos, Assistant Quartermaster, U. S. Army.

ASSISTANT QUARTERMASTER’S OFFICE, Fort Union, N. Mex., March 11, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to make the following statement relating to the abandonment and destruction of the public property under my charge at. Albuquerque, N. Mex.:

On the afternoon of the 1st instant I received reliable information that a body of Texans, about 400 strong, supposed to be the advance guard of the enemy, had reached the town of Belen, 35 miles below Albuquerque. Upon this intelligence I ordered that every preparation be made for destroying the public stores, both quartermaster’s and subsistence, which could not be carried off. At about 6 p.m. one of my express riders came in and reported that a party of about 50 had reached the town of Los Lunas and captured a citizen train, carrying public stores. I had in the mean time loaded what ammunition and ordnance stores the ordnance agent, Mr. Bronson, deemed important {p.528} to secure, and started them on the road to Santa Fé. I had all the teams that were left, some eight or nine, harnessed and ready for moving at a moment’s warning, for the purpose of carrying the baggage of some militia and volunteer companies and 12 regular soldiers. The latter were my only dependence, and I had assumed command of them.

The night passed without the appearance of the enemy, but believing that he would soon be upon me, and not hearing of any troops being on the way from Santa Fé to hold the town, I gave the order to fire the property at about 6.30 on the morning of the 2d instant. The destruction would have been complete had it not been for the great rush of Mexican men, women, and children, who had been up the whole night, waiting anxiously for an opportunity to gratify their insatiable desire for plunder. The only property that was not burned consisted of molasses, vinegar, soap, and candles in the subsistence department, and a few saddles, carpenter’s tools, and office furniture in the quartermaster’s department. Most of these articles were carried off by the Mexicans. The destruction of the stores involved the destruction of the buildings containing them, as it would have been impossible with the force and the short time at my disposal to have removed the property from the buildings in order that it might then be burned. Had I attempted to carry out this plan I am of opinion that the native population would have overpowered me and saved the property for the enemy.

The last wagons, five in number, which left the town were escorted by Mexican volunteers and militia. While in camp near the puebla of Sandilla the train was attacked by deserters from the militia and volunteers, when the escort was thrown in confusion, and the robbers succeeded in carrying off three wagons, with a portion of the mules. Much credit is due to Wagon-master Reilley for getting away with the remainder.

Six wagons and teams which had been sent to the mountains for fuel on the morning of the 1st inst., and afterwards ordered to move by the way of Gallisteo to Santa Fé, are missing, and I have been informed that they were attacked by Mexican robbers and the train carried off.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. M. ENOS, Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.

Maj. JAMES L. DONALDSON, Quartermaster, U. S. A., Comdg. East. Dist. N. Mex., Fort Union.


MARCH 3, 1862.–Capture of Cubero, N. Mex.

Report of Capt. A. S. Thurmond, Third Regiment, Sibley’s Brigade.

CUBERO, N. MEX., March 19, 1862.

SIR: In making an official report of my entry into this place, &c., I will furnish a transcript of the notes handed me by men whom I have myself found to be sound.

NOTE 1.-At 9 a.m. March 3, Dr. F. E. Kavenaugh, in command of three Americans, demanded of Capt. Francisco Aragon, U. S. Army, commanding military post of Cubero, the surrender to him for the Confederate States of himself and command, consisting of Dr. Boyd, surgeon of post, 42 New Mexican soldiers, and 3 Americans, one of whom was {p.529} Sergeant Wahl, bugler, U. S. Army, together with the post, and all stores, arms, ammunition, and property, of whatsoever description, belonging thereto. Captain Aragon was allowed ten minutes to decide whether he would peaceably comply with the demand or resist. At the expiration of the time, he not having returned an answer, one of Kavenaugh’s party was sent to receive the arms, which were formally demanded. The following correspondence will show the formal surrender of the post to Dr. Kavenaugh and his regiment, to hold the same in the name of the Confederate States of America, which said correspondence I herewith inclose*

The amount of property turned over will be accurately shown by the quartermaster’s invoices, which show a large and valuable lot of quartermaster’s, commissary, and ordnance stores. The surgery is also well supplied with valuable medicines, &c. There was not less than 60 arms and 3,000 rounds of ammunition turned over. Captain Aragon and company were furnished with arms and transportation sufficient to take and protect them to Albuquerque upon promise to deliver the Government property furnished them to the Confederate States Army officer commanding there.

Upon taking command of the post Dr. Kavenaugh dispatched Mr. Richmond Gillespie, one of his party, to take information to Albuquerque of the surrender of the post, and to procure assistance in holding it. This trip was performed by Mr. Gillespie greatly to his credit, he having voluntarily risked his life a second time in passing without protection through a most dangerous portion of hostile Indian country to a post where he was not certain but what he might fall into the hands of the enemy. The successful execution of this hazardous trip brought to the protection of the post Capt. A. S. Thurmond, C. S. Army, with 25 men of his command; arrived at Cubero on March 5, at 2 p.m.

Next day the command was turned over to him by Dr. Kavenaugh.

George Gardenhier, one of Dr. Kavenaugh’s party, has rendered most valuable services as assistant quartermaster and commissary, working incessantly in saving and protecting property belonging to those defenses.

Mr. R. T. Thompson has, not only at the capture of the post, but always, been truly Southern, being a Virginian by birth, and certainly his services were most efficient in carrying out the duties of adjutant, treating the enemy always with much leniency, but with the sternness and decision of a true Southern gentleman.

In conversing with both friends and enemies I have found the above to be substantially true; yea, more than true, for such an act of bravery, under the circumstances, could not be expected from the number of men. Dr. Kavenaugh and Messrs. Thompson, Gillespie, and Gardenhier constituted the whole reliable force on the side of the Confederate States, and they, too, men who had been persecuted by the Federal Government. They were not only suspected but were known to be friends of the Confederate States, consequently there was but one game to play, and they did play it with profit to the Confederate States and great credit to themselves. The game would be in other countries called bluff, though it was not intended so by them, although it had that effect.


Dr. Boyd is also among us, a gentleman of high medical attainments, and is at this time doing us valuable service, as I have quite a number of cases of pleurisy in my company.

This at Cubero, March 20.

A. S. THURMOND, Comdg. Co. A, Third Regt., Sibley’s Brig., Army of N. Mex.

To the OFFICER COMMANDING C. S. FORCES, Albuquerque, N. Mex.

* Omitted as unimportant.


MARCH 26, 1862.–Skirmish at Apache Cañon, N. Mex.


No. 1.–Maj. John M. Chivington, First Colorado Infantry.
No. 2.–Capt. Charles J. Walker, Second U. S. Cavalry, including engagement at Glorieta March 28.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. John M. Chivington, First Colorado Infantry.


GENERAL: I have the honor to Submit to you the following report of the troops under my command on the 26th of March, 1862, at the battle of Apache Cañon:

The force consisted as follows: Company A, 60 men, Captain Wynkoop; Company E, 60 men, Captain Anthony, and 60 men of Company D, Captain Downing, of the First Regiment Colorado Infantry Volunteers, and 28 men of Company C, 6 men of Company D, 6 men of Company -, 10 men of Company K, Third Cavalry, under Captain Howland and Lieutenants Wall and Falvey; 30 men of Company B, Third Cavalry, commanded by Captain Walker and Lieutenant Banks; 50 men of Companies D and G, First Cavalry, under Captain Lord and Lieutenant Bernard (all of the U. S. Army), and 88 men of Company F, First Regiment Cavalry Colorado Volunteers, under Captain Cook and Lieutenants Nelson and Marshall: making the total force on our side 418 men. We marched from Bernal Springs for Santa Fé at 3 o’clock p.m. of the 25th instant, intending to surprise the enemy in small force at that place. After a march of 35 miles, and learning we were in the vicinity of the enemy’s pickets, we halted about midnight, and at 2 o’clock a.m. on the 26th Lieutenant Nelson, with 20 men, was sent out to surprise their pickets, which they did, and captured them at 10 o’clock a.m. The detachment again moved forward, and just as we entered the canon (Apache) discovered the advance guard of the foe and captured two lieutenants. In a few minutes they planted their battery and began to throw grape and shell among us. In double-quick Companies A and B First Colorado Volunteers, were deployed as skirmishers to the left and on the mountain side, and Company 13, First Colorado Volunteers, was deployed as skirmishers to the right on the mountain side, and an order was given that the cavalry be held

This skirmish is also mentioned in Slough’s and Scurry’s reports of engagement, March 28, at Glorieta, N. Mex. {p.531} in readiness to charge whenever the cannon were about to retreat. Soon our men from the mountain sides made it too hot for their gunners, and they fell back about 1 1/2 miles and took another and more advantageous position, completely covering the sides of the mountains with their skirmishers to support their guns in the cañon below them.

Having mean time assembled our skirmishers in the cañon, we again deployed Company 13, First Colorado Volunteers, on the right, and Companies A and E, First Colorado Volunteers, on the left, and dismounted all the cavalry and deployed them as skirmishers, except Company F, First Colorado Volunteers, Captain Cook, who was ordered to charge them the moment they gave way before the fire of our infantry. After a contest of an hour they began to prepare for another retreat, and by this time Company 13, Captain Downing, had well-nigh flanked them, so as to cut off their retreat, Captain Cook and Lieutenants Nelson and Marshall leading the way. Company F now made a flying charge on the enemy, running over and trampling them under the horses’ feet. Captain Downing with his men, and Lieutenant Bernard with Company C, Third Cavalry, poured into him a sharp fire from the right, which drove him up a cañon on the left side of the main cañon, when Companies A and E, First Colorado Volunteers, took a large number of prisoners. It now being sundown, and we not knowing how near the enemy’s re-enforcements might be, and having no cannon to oppose theirs, hastened to gather up our dead and wounded and several of the enemy’s, and then fell back to Pigeon’s Ranch and encamped for the night.

Our loss was 5 killed and 14 wounded. The loss of the enemy was, as we ascertained from their own accounts, 32 killed, 43 wounded, and 71 taken prisoners.

I am, sir, with much respect, your obedient servant,

J. M. CHIVINGTON, Major, First Regiment Colorado Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. E. R. S. CANBY, U. S. A., Commanding Department New Mexico, Santa Fé, N. Mex.


No. 2.

Report of Capt. Charles J. Walker, Second U. S. Cavalry, including engagement at Glorieta, March 28.

FORT CRAIG, N. MEX., May 20, 1862.

SIR: In compliance with orders from the Headquarters of the South Military District, Fort Craig, N. Mex., of May 18, 1862, requiring a detailed report of the operations of my company or command in the recent actions of Apache Cañon and Pigeon’s Ranch, I have the honor to state that on the morning of the 26th of March last my company, forming a part of the cavalry command under Capt. G. W. lowland, Third Cavalry, moved from Gray’s Ranch, near the old Pecos Church, in the direction of Johnson’s Ranch, in Apache Canon, a point near which we reached about 2 o’clock p.m. We here discovered the enemy, about 250 or 300 strong, some 400 or 500 yards in front of us. They had two pieces of artillery in position on the road, and were awaiting us. As soon as our column appeared they opened fire with their battery, and, though they kept it up between five and ten minutes at close range, did us no damage. They then retired with their guns, and our {p.532} entire force, infantry and cavalry, advanced about 600 or 800 yards farther on the road. At this point my company was ordered to dismount and assist Captain Wynkoop’s company of Colorado Volunteers in clearing the hills to the left and front of our position. Some little skirmishing occurred after this at long range, but the enemy fell back so rapidly that we scarcely got sight of them.

By this time the firing had ceased at every point of the field and the troops were recalled to the road, where my company remained until about 9.30 o’clock that night, when I retired to Pigeon’s Ranch and rejoined Colonel Chivington. Next morning we marched to old Pecos Church, at which place Colonel Slough united all of the forces. On the following morning (March 28) the entire command, my company in advance, moved to Pigeon’s Ranch, where we halted about an hour and a half; after which we started on. We had not, however, proceeded more than 600 or 700 yards before we discovered the enemy in force immediately in front of us. They, as on the 26th, had their artillery (three pieces) in the road, ready to receive us. As soon as I learned the position of their guns I at once moved into the timber on our left, and dismounted my company and commenced skirmishing on foot. About this time Captain Ritter’s battery arrived, and, supported by the infantry, took position in the road on my right. As soon as he opened on the enemy’s guns my company was ordered to mount and follow the colonel commanding. I followed Colonel Slough, in obedience to this order, for a half or three-quarters of an hour, by which time the action had become general. I was then ordered to occupy the high ridge running obliquely back from the road and on the right of Pigeon’s house. I did so, and held that position during the remainder of the day, or at least until our forces had retired from the field. While in this position we at several times during the day had some skirmishing with the enemy in small parties. The company, though under fire a great part of the day, accomplished nothing that I remember of special importance, though they did all that the position assigned them required. The officer (Lieut. Sidney Banks) and men behaved handsomely whenever brought under the enemy’s fire, and gave every evidence of a willingness and determination to do any duty that might be required of them. The strength of the company (E, Third U. S. Cavalry) during these two actions was one officer (Lieut. Sidney Banks, Third Cavalry) besides myself and about 40 or 45 enlisted men.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. J. WALKER, Second Cavalry, Commanding Company B, Third Cavalry.

Lieut. N. M. MACRAE, Fourth New Mexico Volunteers, Act, Asst. Adjt. Gen.


MARCH 28, 1862.–Engagement at Glorieta, or Pigeon’s Ranch, N. Mex.


No. 1.–Col. John P. Slough, First Colorado Infantry.
No. 2.–Lieut. Col. Samuel F. Tappan, First Colorado Infantry.
No. 3.–Maj. John M. Chivington, First Colorado Infantry.
No. 4.–Capt. John F. Ritter, Fifteenth U. S. Infantry, commanding light battery.
No. 5.–Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley, C. S. Army.
No. 6.–Col. William R. Scurry, Fourth Texas Cavalry.


No. 1.

Reports of Col. John P. Slough, First Colorado Infantry.

KOZLOWSKI’S RANCH, March 29, 1862.

COLONEL: Learning from our spies that the enemy, about 1,000 strong, were in the Apache Cañon and at Johnson’s Ranch beyond, I concluded to reconnoiter in force, with a view of ascertaining the position of the enemy and of harassing them as much as possible; hence left this place with my command, nearly 1,300 strong, at 8 o’clock yesterday morning. To facilitate the reconnaissance I sent Maj. J. M. Chivington, First Regiment Colorado Volunteers, by a road running to the left of the cañon and nearly parallel thereto, with about 430 officers and picked men, with instructions to push forward to Johnson’s. With the remainder of the command I entered the cañon, and had attained but a short distance when our pickets announced that the enemy was near and had taken position in a thick grove of trees, with their line extending from mesa to mesa across the cañon, and their battery, consisting of four pieces, placed in position. I at once detailed a considerable force of flankers, placed the batteries in position, and placed the cavalry-nearly all dismounted-and the remainder of the infantry in position to support the batteries.

Before the arrangement of my forces was completed the enemy opened fire upon us. The action began about 10 o’clock and continued until after 4 p.m. The character of the country was such as to make the engagement of the bushwhacking kind. Hearing of the success of Major Chivington’s command, and the object of our movement being successful, we fell back in order to our camp. Our loss in killed is probably 20, including Lieutenant Baker, of Company I, Colorado Volunteers; in wounded probably 50, including Lieutenant Chambers, of Company C, Colorado Volunteers, and Lieutenant McGrath, U. S. Army, who was serving with Captain Ritter’s battery; in missing probably 30. The enemy’s loss is in killed from 40 to 60 and wounded probably over 100. In addition we took some 25 prisoners and rendered unfit for service three pieces of their artillery. We took and destroyed their train of about 60 wagons, with their contents, consisting of ammunition, subsistence, forage, clothing, officers’ baggage, &c. Among the killed of the enemy 2 majors, 2 captains and among the prisoners are 2 captains and 1 lieutenant. During the engagement the enemy made three attempts to take our batteries and were repelled in each with severe loss.

The strength of the enemy, as received from spies and prisoners, in the cañon was altogether some 1,200 or 1,300, some 200 of whom were at or near Johnson’s Ranch, and were engaged by Major Chivington’s command.

The officers and men behaved nobly. My thanks are due to my staff officers for the courage and ability with which they assisted me in conducting the engagement.

As soon as all the details are ascertained I will send an official report of the engagement.

Very respectfully,

JNO. P. SLOUGH, Commanding Department of New Mexico.

Col. E. R. S. CANBY, Colonel, Commanding Northern Division, Army of New Mexico.



SIR: As the department commander is at Fort Craig, beyond the lines of the enemy, I have the honor to submit direct a synopsis of the military operations of the division since its organization at Fort Union. When an opportunity occurs a complete report will be submitted through the proper channels.

After the arrival of the First Regiment Colorado Volunteers at Fort Union I found that Colonel Paul, Fourth Regiment New Mexico Volunteers, had completed the preliminary arrangements for throwing a column of troops into the field, and by seniority of volunteer commission I claimed the command. Accordingly the following division was organized and I assumed the command of the whole: First Colorado Volunteers, aggregate 916; Captain Lewis’ battalion Fifth Infantry and Captain Ford’s company volunteers (Fourth New Mexico), three companies, 191; Captain Howland’s cavalry detachment of First and Third Cavalry and Company E, Third Cavalry, 150; Captain Bitter’s battery, four guns, 53; Lieutenant Claim’s battery, four small howitzers, 32. Total, 1,342.

The movement commenced from Fort Union on Saturday, the 22d March, and the command encamped at Bernal Springs, 45 miles from Union, on Tuesday, the 25th instant. On Wednesday, the 26th instant, a command of 200 cavalry and 180 infantry, under Major Chivington, was advanced toward Santa Fé, with a view of capturing or defeating a force of the enemy reported to be stationed there. The enemy in force was engaged near Johnson’s Ranch, Apache Cañon, about 15 miles on this side of Santa Fé. The result was victorious to our forces. The enemy was defeated, with some 20 to 25 killed, more wounded, and about 70 prisoners, who fell into our hands. Our loss was small-3 men killed in battle, 2 since died, and some 8 others wounded. Among the wounded is Captain Cook, Colorado Volunteers, badly. I regret to report that Lieutenant Marshall, Colorado Volunteers, accidentally shot himself while breaking a loaded musket which he held in his hand by the muzzle. Having accomplished this, Major Chivington’s command took position on the Pecos, at Kozlowski’s Ranch, 27 miles from Santa Fé.

About noon on the 27th I left Camp Paul, at Bernal Springs, and about 2 o’clock next morning I had posted my entire force at Kozlowski’s. On the 28th a movement was made upon the enemy in two columns, with a view of reconnoitering his position at Johnson’s Ranch. For this purpose an infantry force of regulars and volunteers, under Major Chivington, was directed to move off on the Gallisteo road, attain the principal heights upon the side of Apache Cañon, and occupy them, while the main body, under my command, moved directly into the canon. It was known before this movement was made that the enemy had been strongly re-enforced, and his estimated strength was from 1,200 to 1,400.

At 9 o’clock we left our encampment,and at 10.30 a.m. we arrived at Pigeon’s Ranch, 5 miles distant, the command under Major Chivington having flanked off at a point about 2 miles beyond Kozlowski’s. We had just reached Pigeon’s when I directed Captain Chapin, Seventh Infantry, adjutant-general, to proceed forward with the cavalry and reconnoiter the position of the enemy. He had proceeded but about 300 yards when our pickets were driven in, and the enemy opened a fire of grape and shell from a battery carefully placed in position upon the hill-side above. The batteries were brought forward and the infantry thrown out upon the flanks. The cavalry, with an addition of infantry, {p.535} supported the batteries, and the firing became general. The battle continued over five hours. The fighting was all done in thick covers of cedars, and having met the enemy where he was not expected the action was defensive from its beginning to its end. Major Chivington’s command continued on toward Johnson’s, where some 200 of the enemy were posted, and fell upon the enemy’s train of 60 wagons, capturing and destroying it and capturing and destroying one 6-pounder gun, and taking 2 officers and about 15 men prisoners. The loss of this train was a most serious disaster to the enemy, destroying his baggage and ammunition, and depriving him of provisions, of which he was short. Much praise is due to the officers and men of Major Chivington’s command.

About 5 o’clock p.m. a flag of truce came from the enemy, and measures were taken by both forces to gather up the dead and take care of the wounded. Our loss is not great. We have 1 officer (Lieutenant Baker, Colorado Volunteers) killed and 2 (Lieutenant McGrath, U. S. Army, and Lieutenant Chambers, Colorado Volunteers) wounded; 28 men killed and 40 wounded. We lost some 15 prisoners. The loss of the enemy is great. His killed amount to at least 100, his wounded at least 150, and 1 captain and several men prisoners. He is still burying his dead. It is claimed in the battles of the 26th and 28th together that we damaged the enemy at least 350 killed, wounded, and prisoners, and have destroyed their entire train and three pieces of artillery-one by Major Chivington and two by our batteries. We have killed 5 of their officers-2 majors, 1 captain, and 2 lieutenants-and have captured 5 more-2 captains and 3 lieutenants. This has been done with the purpose of annoying and harassing the enemy and under orders from Colonel Canby, commanding department. But as the instructions from him are to protect Fort Union at all hazards and leave nothing to chance, and as the numbers and position of the enemy in a mountain canon are too strong to make a battle with my force, I shall now occupy a position to protect Fort Union and at the same time harass and damage the enemy.

Officers and men, regulars and volunteers, all acquitted themselves handsomely during both engagements. It is especially proper that praise should be accorded Captain Ritter and Lieutenant Claflin, U. S. Army, for the efficient manner in which they handled their batteries during the battle of the 28th instant.

I desire to notice the members of my staff for the efficient manner in which they assisted me in the battle of Pigeon’s Ranch, and especially Captain Chapin, U. S. Army, assistant adjutant-general-Lieutenants Bonesteel and Cobb, of the Colorado Volunteers, and Mr. J. Howe Watts, volunteer aide, upon all of whom fell the heavier portion of dangerous duty daring the battle, and whose intelligent, courageous, and prompt action contributed much towards the result attained.

In conclusion, I would add that to Captain Chapin, whose connection with me was the most intimate, and upon whom fell the burden of duty, I owe and return especial thanks.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,

JNO. P. SLOUGH, Colonel First Regiment Colorado Volunteers, Commanding.

The ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. ARMY, Washington City, D. C.



No. 2.

Report of Lieut. Col. Samuel F. Tappan, First Colorado Infantry.

SANTA Fé, N. MEX., May 21, 1862.

In compliance with orders just received from department headquarters I have the honor herewith to submit report of engagement at Glorieta, or Pigeon’s Ranch, on the 28th March last, between the forces of the enemy, under Colonel Scurry, and Colonel Slough’s column of Colorado Volunteers, Howland’s cavalry, Ritter’s and Claflin’s batteries, of four guns each.

On the morning of the day last mentioned I was assigned to the immediate command of a battalion of infantry, consisting of Companies C, Captain Sopris; 13, Captain Downing; G, Captain Wilder; I, Captain Maile, and K, Captain Robbins, First Colorado Volunteers. A battery of four guns-two 12-pounders and two 6-pounders-Captain Bitter, Regular Army, and four 12-pounder mountain howitzers, Lieutenant Claflin, U. S. Regular Army, were attached to my command. We marched out of camp near the Old Pecos Church, Howland’s cavalry in advance, and proceeded about 5 miles down the road toward Santa Fé to Glorieta, situated in a deep, narrow, and thickly-wooded cañon. While my command was at a rest information of the immediate presence of the enemy was brought by some pickets falling back on Captain Howland’s advance. They reported the enemy in position in the timber about 800 yards in advance. My command was immediately formed, and in obedience to the orders of Colonel Slough I advanced half that distance at a double-quick, where the batteries were stationed on a slight elevation in and to the left of the road. Company D deployed to the left and Company I to the right, to occupy the hill-sides as skirmishers; Company C was assigned to the support of Ritter’s and Company K Claflin’s batteries. The enemy were concealed among the trees, and opened fire upon us with their batteries, which was promptly returned by ours, and our skirmishers from the hill-sides discharged volley after volley among the enemy with telling effect.

Company I, in deploying to the right, passed an opening commanded by the enemy’s batteries and suffered severely. They, however, reached the position assigned them and did excellent service. Occupied this position for nearly half an hour, when the order was given to fall back to a new position in front of and near the house of Mr. Pigeon. Claflin’s battery took position on an eminence to the left and Ritter’s occupied the road. At this juncture Company G, that morning detailed as rear guard, came up, and were assigned with Company C to support Bitter’s battery. Subsequently the first platoon of this company, commanded by Captain Wilder, was ordered by Colonel Slough to deploy to the right as skirmishers. The enemy advanced and occupied the position we had left, and the firing was renewed and kept up a considerable time. Then our batteries fell back to their third position.

While the batteries occupied their second position Captain Chapin and myself were requested to accompany Colonel Slough up the hill to the right to reconnoiter. It was there suggested to the colonel the necessity of occupying the hill to the left with skirmishers, to prevent the enemy from outflanking us in that direction, to fall upon our rear, and destroy our train, and it would also afford support to our batteries. He thereupon ordered me to take 20 men from Captain Sopris’ company and take position on the hill. These men were furnished, and not considering them sufficient I took the police guard, not yet assigned {p.537} to any special duty, numbering about 70 men, and with them took position in front of and to the left of the batteries on the summit of the hill, extending my line of skirmishers for nearly three-quarters of a mile in a half circle and at nearly a right angle from the road occupied by our train of 100 wagons. This position commanded the valley in part, and the irregularities of the surface afforded excellent protection for the men from the fire of the enemy. Remained here for about four hours. Occasionally small parties of the enemy would attempt to ascend the hill toward my line, but were driven back as often as they made their appearance.

Before the batteries had fallen back to their third position I noticed 200 or 300 of the enemy nearly a mile off assembling. Apprehending that they were preparing to charge our batteries, I descended to the valley and communicated my apprehensions to Colonel Slough. Soon after, returning to the position assigned me on the hill, I received information from Colonel Slough that the enemy evidently intended to charge my skirmishers to get my position, from which they could assault our battery and train; was ordered to hold it at all hazards, for all depended upon it; also to be in readiness to advance and attack the enemy’s flank when he should charge him in front, which he designed doing as soon as Major Chivington should attack him in rear, which he expected every moment. About half an hour afterward a party approached my line, dressed in the uniform of the Colorado Volunteers, requesting us not to shoot, as they were our own men. They were allowed to come within a few paces of us, when, not giving satisfactory answers to interrogations in reference to their commanders and recognizing them as Texans, my men were ordered to fire. The enemy suddenly disappeared, leaving several dead and wounded. Apprehending at this time the arrival of Major Chivington with his command to attack the enemy’s rear and that some of his men might get in our front while deployed as skirmishers, I was therefore extremely cautious not to give the order to fire on parties approaching until they were near enough to be recognized.

At the time the enemy charged our battery a battalion of the enemy made its appearance among the trees before us, approaching the center of my line, Major Shropshire and Captain Shannon at head of column. When they had arrived to within a few paces of my skirmishers, Private Pierce, of Company F, Colorado Volunteers, approached them, killing and disarming the major and taking the captain prisoner. He returned to our main body and delivered over his prisoner to Captain Chapin, U. S. Army. The fire of my skirmishers was directed against the head of the still advancing column with such rapidity and effectiveness that the enemy were compelled to retire, with the loss of several killed and wounded. They once again appeared in the valley, but were repulsed and driven back. Our column had fallen back from the valley to my right a considerable distance. The enemy occupied the place we had left. Considering it extremely hazardous to remain longer, and thereby enable the enemy to get in my rear and cut me off from support of our battery and protection of our train, I ordered my men to fall back and close in in the rear of the retiring column, which they did in good order at a point nearly 2 miles back, and then returned to the camp we left in the morning.

Not having at my command at this time the several reports of commanders of companies engaged in the battle I am consequently unable to particularize individual acts of heroism, and the exact number of killed, wounded, and missing. Therefore my report must necessarily {p.538} be incomplete. I would, however, remark that an estimate was made after the battle of the casualties of my command, and, if my memory serves me, 29 killed, 64 wounded, and 13 missing. Companies D and I, First Colorado Volunteers, were the greatest sufferers. Several of the wounded have since died from the effects of their wounds, making the number killed 38. The missing were taken prisoners by the enemy, one of whom escaped. The others were released on their paroles. Lieutenant Baker, of Company I, was severely wounded during the early part of the engagement, and afterward beaten to death by the enemy with the butt of a musket or club and his body stripped of its clothing. He was found the next morning, his head scarcely recognizable, so horribly mangled. He fought gallantly, and the vengeance of the foe pursued him after death. Lieutenant Chambers, of Company C, Colorado Volunteers, was also severely wounded, from which there is but little hope of his recovery. He proved himself a gallant officer.

Suffice it to say that officers and men acted with great gallantry, and where all did so well to particularize and refer to individuals becomes unnecessary.

I have the honor to remain, yours, with respect,

SAM. F. TAPPAN, Lieutenant-Colonel, First Regiment Colorado Infantry Vols.

Capt. G. CHAPIN, 7th. Inf., U. S. A., A. A. A. G., Dept. Hdqrs., Santa Fé, N. Mex.


No. 3.

Report of Maj. John M. Chivington, First Colorado Infantry.


GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the troops under my command on the 28th of March, 1862, at the battle of Pigeon’s Ranch:

In obedience to General Orders, No. -, issued to me on the morning of this day, with the following command: 1st, Captain Lewis’ battalion, assisted by Captain Carey, consisting of 60 men; Companies A and G, Fifth Infantry, in charge of Lieutenants Barr and Norvell; Company B, First Regiment Colorado Volunteers, 78 men, in charge of Capt. S. M. Logan and Lieutenant Jacobs, and Capt. James H. Ford’s company, Second Colorado Volunteers, in charge of Captain Ford and Lieutenant De Forrest. 2d, Captain Wynkoop’s battalion, consisting of Company A, First Regiment Colorado Volunteers, in charge of Lieutenant Shaffer, 68 men; Company E, First Regiment Colorado Volunteers, in charge of Capt. Scott J. Anthony and Lieut. J. A. Dawson, 71 men; Company H, First Regiment Colorado Volunteers, in charge of Capt. George L. Sanborn and Lieut. B. N. Sanford, numbering about 80 men, I left Camp Lewis at 8.30 o’clock a.m., and at 9.30 o’clock a.m. we left the main road and took the trail leading to Gallisteo, which we kept for 8 miles, and then without road we traveled about 8 miles, and about 1.30 o’clock p.m. we reached an eminence overlooking Johnson’s Ranch.

After reconnoitering the position it was ascertained that there were corraled in the cañon 80 wagons and one field piece, all in charge of {p.539} some 200 men. The command was given to charge, and the troops started upon double-quick. Captain Wynkoop, with 30 of his men, were deployed to the mountain side to silence their guns by picking off their gunners, which they did effectually, Captain Lewis capturing and spiking the gun after having five shots discharged at him. The remainder of the command surrounded the wagons and buildings, killing 3 and wounding several of the enemy. The wagons were all heavily loaded with ammunition, clothing, subsistence, and forage, all of which were burned upon the spot or rendered entirely useless. During the engagement one of the wagons containing ammunition exploded, severely wounding Private Ritter, of Company A, First Colorado Volunteers; the only person injured. We retook 5 privates, who had been taken in the forenoon in the battle between Slough’s and Scurry’s forces, from whom we gleaned our first intelligence of the general engagement, and upon reaching the summit of the mountain we were met by Lieutenant Cobb, bringing an order from Colonel Slough for our advance to support the main column, which we hastened to obey. We also took 17 prisoners, and captured about thirty horses and mules, which were in a corral in the vicinity of the wagons.

Both officers and men performed their duty efficiently. Captain Lewis had the most dangerous duty assigned him, which he performed with unfaltering heroism. I repeat, all, ALL did well. The command returned to Camp Lewis about 10 o’clock p.m. the same day.

I am, general, with much respect, your obedient servant,

J. M. CHIVINGTON, Major, First Regiment Colorado Volunteers.

P. S.-I ought in justice to say that a Mr. Collins, in so me way connected with Indian affairs in this Territory, and one of Colonel Slough’s volunteer aides, by his own request and Colonel Slough’s desire accompanied the command, and gave evidence that he was a brave man, and did us good service as a guide and interpreter, though he did not burn the train or cause it to be done.

J. M. C.

27 killed; 63 wounded. Total, 90.


No. 4.

Report of Capt. John F. Bitter, Fifteenth U. S. Infantry, commanding light battery.

FORT UNION, N. MEX., May 16, 1862.

SIR: Pursuant to a letter dated Headquarters, Department of New Mexico, Santa Fé, N. Mex., May 15, 1862, I have the honor to submit the following report:

The light battery which I commanded in the action of Pigeon’s. Ranch was composed of two 12-pounder howitzers and two 6-pounder guns, without caissons, there being none then in the department. Its total strength consisted of 3 commissioned officers, 4 non-commissioned, and 46 enlisted men present. The commissioned officers, besides myself, were First Lieut. P. McGrath, Sixth Cavalry, and Second Lieut. R. S. Underhill, Fourth New Mexico Volunteers. The order for the formation of this battery was dated March 9, 1862, and on March 23 it was ordered with Colonel Slough’s column into the field. On March 28 the enemy was reported in advance, and the battery was ordered to the front to a position in the road a few hundred yards west of {p.540} Pigeon’s Ranch, where it commenced fire upon the enemy. After firing a number of rounds I was ordered to take position farther to the rear and south of the road, some distance from it. Here I was exposed to a galling fire without being able to return it effectually, the enemy being some distance off and entirely sheltered by trees, &c., and I was also some distance from my ammunition wagons. The supports to the battery were all ordered away with the exception of about one platoon of Colorado Volunteers, and I deemed it proper to return to the road, which I did after firing a few rounds. It was here that Lieutenant McGrath was fatally wounded. I then took position nearly in front of Pigeon’s Ranch, and established one 6-pounder in the road while the limber-boxes of the pieces, two at a time, went to the rear to be replenished. Here one of the enemy’s pieces was dismounted by a round shot striking it full in the muzzle, and another was disabled and a limber-box was blown up by a case shot striking it. Private Kelly, Company E, Fifth Infantry, was gunner at the piece which did this execution.

From here I was ordered by Captain Chapin to cross the ravine to the other side of the cañon and take up a position there, which I did. Lieutenant Claflin’s mountain howitzer battery joined and took position with me. The enemy here made a desperate charge on the batteries, and was repulsed with, I think, great loss. The enemy then got on the rocky hill on my right flank, and was pouring a destructive fire of small-arms in the batteries and killed two horses, so that I deemed it proper to withdraw from my position. Private G. H. Smith, Company E, Fifth Infantry, was killed, and Privates Raleigh and Woolsey, same company, and Private Leddy, Company I, Second Cavalry, were wounded at this place. I then took position some distance farther to the rear (this position was selected by Capt. G. Chapin, Seventh Infantry) in front of a deep ravine, where the supports were entirely sheltered from the enemy’s fire. The supply train was in the road about 40 yards from the left of the battery. The enemy here made another desperate charge on the battery, and apparently also the train, but was again repulsed, with, I think, great loss and in great disorder. This was my last position, and I heard no more firing from either side afterwards. The command then retired for the day to Kozlowski’s.

I wish to state in conclusion that I had made a night march the night before the action, and did not get into camp until 4 a.m., and officers and men were necessarily much fatigued. I was very much impeded in my movements by reason of the deficiency of caissons.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN F. BITTER, Captain, Fifteenth Infantry, Commanding Light Battery.

Capt. G. CHAPIN, Seventh Inf., A. A. A. G., Dept. of N. Mex., Santa Fé, N. Mex.


No. 5.

Report of Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NEW MEXICO, Albuquerque, N. Mex., March 31, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor and the pleasure to report another victory.

After the battle of Valverde our advance was uninterrupted to this {p.541} city. Here sufficient supplies were secured for sixty days, while from Cubero, a village 60 miles distant, large supplies have been drawn from the enemy’s depot. We have been surrounded with every description of embarrassment, general and individual. Whole trains had been abandoned, and scantily provided, as they had originally been, with blankets and clothing, the men had, without a murmur, given up the little left them. More than all this, on the representation of their officers that forage could not be procured with one accord the regiment agreed to be dismounted.

These preliminary facts are stated because it is due to the brave men under my command that they should be known and the hand-to-hand desperate contests duly appreciated.

The battle of Glorieta was fought March 28 by detached troops, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Scurry, and Federal forces, principally Pike’s Peakers, under the command of Colonel Slough; the one having 1,000 men and the other estimated at 1,500 or 2,000. Glorieta is a cañon 23 miles east of Santa Fé.

Pending the battle the enemy detached a portion of his forces to attack and destroy our supply train, which he succeeded in doing, thus crippling Colonel Scurry to such a degree that he was two days without provisions or blankets. The patient, uncomplaining endurance of our men is most remarkable and praiseworthy.

Our loss was 33 killed and 35 wounded. Among the killed are Majors Ragnet and Shropshire and Captain Buckholts. Colonel Scurry had his cheek twice grazed by Minie balls, and Major Pyron had his horse killed under him.

In consequence of the loss of his train Colonel Scurry has fallen back upon Santa Fé.

I must have re-enforcements. The future operations of this army will be duly reported. Send me re-enforcements.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. H. SIBLEY, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.


No. 6.

Reports of Col. W. R. Scurry, Fourth Texas Cavalry.

SANTA Fé, N. Mex., March 30, 1862.

GENERAL: I arrived here this morning with my command and have taken quarters for the present in this city. I will in a short time give you an official account of the battle of Glorieta, which occurred on day before yesterday, in the Cañon Glorieta, about 22 miles from this city, between the Confederate troops under my command and the Federal forces, commanded by Colonel Slough, of the Colorado Volunteers, (Pike’s Peakers), when another victory was added to the long list of Confederate triumphs.

The action commenced at about 11 o’clock and ended at 5.30, and, although every inch of the ground was well contested, we steadily drove them back until they were in full retreat our men pursuing until from sheer exhaustion we were compelled to stop.

Our loss was 33 killed and I believe, 35 wounded. Among the killed {p.542} was that brave soldier and accomplished officer Major Ragnet, the gallant and impetuous Major Shropshire, and the daring Captain Buckholts, all of whom fell gallantly leading the men around against the foe. Major Pyron had his horse shot under him, and my own cheek was twice brushed by a Minie ball, each time just drawing blood, and my clothes torn in two places. I mention this simply to show how hot was the fire of the enemy when all of the field officers upon the ground were either killed or touched. As soon as I can procure a full report of all the casualties I will forward them.

Our train was burned by a party who succeeded in passing undiscovered around the mountains to our rear. I regret to have to report that they fired upon and severely wounded Rev. L. H. Jones, our chaplain, of the Fourth Regiment. He was holding in his hand a white flag when fired upon.

The loss of the enemy was very severe, being over 75 killed and a large number wounded.

The loss of my supplies so crippled me that after burying my dead I was unable to follow up the victory. My men for two days went unfed and blanketless unmurmuringly. I was compelled to come here for something to eat.

At last accounts the Federalists were still retiring towards Fort Union.

The men at the train blew up the limber-box and spiked the 6-pounder I had left at the train, so that it was rendered useless, and the cart-burners left it.

Lieutenant Bennett writes for more ammunition. Please have it sent. As soon as I am fixed for it I wish to get after them again.

From three sources, all believed to be reliable, Canby left Craig on the 24th.

Yours, in haste,


P. S.-I do not know if I write intelligently. I have not slept for three nights, and can scarcely hold my eyes open.

W. R. S.


SANTE FÉ, N. MEX., March 31, 1862.

MAJOR: Late on the afternoon of the 26th, while encamped at Gallisteo, an express from Major Pyron arrived, with the information that the major was engaged in a sharp conflict with a greatly superior force of the enemy, about 16 miles distant, and urging me to hasten to his relief. The critical condition of Major Pyron and his gallant comrades was made known to the command, and in ten minutes the column was formed and the order to march given. Our baggage train was sent forward under a guard of 100 men, under the command of Lieutenant Taylor, of the Seventh Regiment, to a point some 6 miles in the rear of Major Pyron’s position, the main command marching directly across the mountains to the scene of conflict. It is due to the brave men making this cold night march to state that where the road over the mountain was too steep for the horses to drag the artillery they were unharnessed, and the men cheerfully pulled it over the difficulties of the way by hand.

About 3 o’clock in the morning we reached Major Pyron’s encampment at Johnson’s Ranch, Cañon Cito. There had been an agreed cessation {p.543} of hostilities until 8 o’clock the next morning. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the courage of the officers and men engaged in the affair of the 26th.

As soon as daylight enabled me I made a thorough examination of the ground, and so formed the troops as to command every approach to the position we occupied, which was naturally a very strong one. The disposition of the troops was soon completed, and by 8 o’clock were ready to receive the expected attack.

In this position we remained until the next morning. The enemy still not making their appearance, I concluded to march forward and attack them. Leaving a small wagon guard, I marched in their direction with portions of nine companies of the Fourth Regiment, under their respective officers, Captains [George J.] Hampton, Lesueur, Foard, Crosson, Julius Giesecke, Alexander, Buckholts, [J. M.] Odell, and Lieutenant Holland, of Company B, Captain Scarborough being unwell; four companies of the Seventh Regiment, under Captains [Gustav] Hoffman, [J. W.] Gardner, [J. F.] Wiggins, and [Isaac] Adair; four companies of the Fifth Regiment, under Captains [Denman] Shannon and [Daniel H.] Ragsdale and Lieuts. Pleasant J. Oakes and John J. Scott; three pieces of artillery, under Lieutenant Bradford, together with Captain Phillips’ company of independent volunteers.

From details and other causes they were reduced until (all combined) they did not number over 600 men fit for duty. At about 6 miles from our camp the advance guard gave notice that the enemy were near in force. I hastened in front to examine their position, and found they were about 1 mile west of Pigeon’s Ranch, in Cañon Glorieta. The mounted men who were marching in front were ordered to retire slowly to the rear, dismount, and come into action on foot. The artillery was pushed forward to a slight elevation in the cañon and immediately opened fire. The infantry was rapidly deployed into line, extending across the cation from a fence on our left up into the pine forest on our right.

About the time these dispositions were made the enemy rapidly advanced in separate columns both upon our right and left. I dispatched Major Pyron to the right to check them in that direction, and placing the center in command of Major Ragnet I hastened with the remainder of the command to the left. A large body of infantry, availing themselves of a gulch that ran up the center of an inclosed field to our left, were moving under its cover past our left flank to the rear of our position. Crossing the fence on foot, we advanced over the clearing some 200 yards under a heavy fire from the foe, and dashed into the gulch in their midst, pistol and knife in hand. For a few moments a most desperate and deadly hand-to-hand conflict raged along the gulch, when they broke before the steady courage of our men and fled in the wildest disorder and confusion.

Major Pyron was equally successful, and Major Ragnet with his force charged rapidly down the center. Lieutenant Bradford, of the artillery, had been wounded and borne from the field. There being no other officer of the artillery present, three guns, constituting our battery, had been hastily withdrawn before I was aware of it. Sending to the rear to have two of the guns brought back to the field a pause was made to reunite our forces, which had become somewhat scattered in the last rencounter. When we were ready to advance the enemy had taken cover, and it was impossible to tell whether their main body was stationed {p.544} behind a long adobe wall that ran nearly across the cañon or had taken position behind a large ledge of rocks in the rear. Private W. D. Kirk, of Captain Phillips’ company, had taken charge of one of the guns, and Sergeant Patrick, of the artillery, another, and brought them to the ground.

While trying by the fire of these two guns to ascertain the locality of the enemy, Major Shropshire was sent to the right, with orders to move up among the pines until he should find the enemy, when he was to attack them on that flank. Major Ragnet, with similar orders, was dispatched to the left. I informed these gallant officers that as soon as the sound of their guns was heard I would charge in front with the remainder of the command. Sending Major Pyron to the assistance of Major Ragnet, and leaving instruction for the center to charge as the fire opened on the right, I passed in that direction to learn the cause of delay in making the assault. I found that the gallant Major Shropshire had been killed. I took command of the right and immediately attacked the enemy who were at the ranch. Majors Ragnet and Pyron opened a galling fire upon their left from the rock on the mountain side, and the center charging down the road, the foe were driven from the ranch to the ledge of rocks before alluded to, where they made their final and most desperate stand. At this point three batteries of eight guns opened a furious fire of grape, canister, and shell upon our advancing troops.

Our brave soldiers, heedless of the storm, pressed on, determined if possible to take their battery. A heavy body of infantry, twice our number, interposed to save their guns. Here the conflict was terrible. Our men and officers, alike inspired with the unalterable determination to overcome every obstacle to the attainment of their object, dashed among them. The right and center had united on the left. The intrepid Ragnet and the cool, calm, courageous Pyron had pushed forward among the rocks until the muzzles of the guns of the opposing forces passed each other. Inch by inch was the ground disputed, until the artillery of the enemy had time to escape with a number of their wagons. The infantry also broke ranks and fled from the field. So precipitate was their flight that they cut loose their teams and set fire to two of their wagons. The pursuit was kept up until forced to halt from the extreme exhaustion of the men, who had been engaged for six hours in the hardest contested fight it had ever been my lot to witness. The enemy is now known to have numbered 1,400 men, Pike’s Peak miners and regulars, the flower of the U. S. Army.

During the action a part of the enemy succeeded in reaching our rear, surprising the wagon guard, and burning our wagons, taking at the same time some 16 prisoners. About this time a party of prisoners, whom I had sent to the rear, reached there, and informed them how the fight was going in front; whereupon they beat a hasty retreat, not, however, until the perpetration of two acts which the most barbarous savage of the plains would blush to own. One was the shooting and dangerously wounding of the Rev. L. H. Jones, chaplain of the Fourth Regiment, with a white flag in his hand; the other an order that the prisoners they had taken be shot in case they were attacked on their retreat. These instances go to prove that they have lost all sense of humanity in the insane hatred they bear to the citizens of the Confederacy, who have the manliness to arm in defense of their country’s independence.

We remained upon the battle-field during the day of the 29th to bury our dead and provide for the comfort of the wounded, and then {p.545} marched to Santa Fé, to procure supplies and transportation to replace those destroyed by the enemy.

Our loss was 36 killed and 60 wounded. Of the killed 24 were of the Fourth Regiment, 1 of the Fifth Regiment, 8 of the Seventh Regiment, and 1 of the artillery.

That of the enemy greatly exceeded this number, 44 of their dead being counted where the battle first opened. Their killed must have considerably exceeded 100.

The country has to mourn the loss of four as brave and chivalrous officers as ever graced the ranks of any army. The gallant Major Shropshire fell early, pressing upon the foe and cheering his men on. The brave and chivalrous Major Ragnet fell mortally wounded while engaged in the last and most desperate conflict of the day. He survived long enough to know and rejoice at our victory, and then died with loving messages upon his expiring lips. The brave, gallant Captain Buckholts and Lieutenant Mills conducted themselves with distinguished gallantry throughout the fight and fell near its close. Of the living it is only necessary to say all behaved with distinguished courage and daring.

This battle proves conclusively that few mistakes were made in the selection of the officers in this command. They were ever in the front, leading their men into the hottest of the fray. It is not too much to say that, even in the midst of this heroic band, among whom instances of individual daring and personal prowess were constantly occurring, Major Pyron was distinguished by the calm intrepidity of his bearing. It is due to Adjt. Ellsberry R. Lane to bear testimony to the courage and activity he displayed in the discharge of his official duties, and to acknowledge my obligations for the manner in which he carried out my orders.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. SCURRY, Colonel, Commanding Army of New Mexico.

Maj. A. M. JACKSON, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of New Mexico.


APRIL 5-6, 1862.–Affair at San Luis Pass, Tex., including destruction of the Columbia.


No. 1.–Col. J. Bates, Thirteenth Texas Infantry.
No. 2.–Maj. S. S. Perry, Thirteenth Texas Infantry.
No. 3.–Capt. S. L. S. Ballowe, Thirteenth Texas Infantry.

No. 1.

Reports of Col. J. Bates, Thirteenth Texas Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS BATES’ REGIMENT, Velasco, Tex., April 6, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report as follows:

Information reached my headquarters at 7 p.m. on yesterday that at 4 p.m. of that day a large steamer anchored off San Luis Pass, displaying {p.546} an English and a Confederate ensign and what seemed to be from the shore a white flag. I immediately dispatched a detachment of 25 mounted men from Captain Moseley’s company, under the command of Maj. S. S. Perry, with instructions to watch the enemy closely and prevent depredations in case of their attempting to land.

When about half way to San Luis, which is 16 miles from this post, Major Perry met an expressman, who stated that Lieut. O. W. Edwards, of Captain Ballowe’s company, and 7 of his men with Mr. Alexander Follett, residing near the Pass, had been decoyed out to the steamer and captured; that the enemy had then taken the boat in which Edwards and his men had gone out and had passed our battery (one 18-pounder) on San Luis Island, and were between the island and the main-land; that it was supposed that they had captured the schooner Columbia, lying in the rear of the island, loaded with cotton; that their force was unknown, and Captain Ballowe’s command was in danger of being cut off.

I immediately dispatched Lieut. Col. R. R. Brown, with the remainder of Captain Moseley’s artillery company and two field pieces, to the scene of action. [Lieutenant] Colonel Brown arrived at San Luis at daylight this morning. The Columbia was then in flames and nearly consumed, the enemy having retired to their vessel.

At daylight an action commenced between our battery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, and the enemy’s vessel, in which a few shots were exchanged and the enemy drew off. As she steamed down the coast she sent the crew of the destroyed cotton schooner ashore in a small boat, retaining Lieutenant Edwards and his men as prisoners. No other casualties on our side.

Captain Ballowe was absent from his command when the vessel arrived, and did not reach there until late in the night. The night was very dark and the force of the enemy in the bay was unknown. Our best boat was captured and the others were too frail to risk a night attack from the small force on the island.

Further particulars will be reported as soon as information can be received, with a list of the prisoners.

J. BATES, Colonel, Commanding.

Col. SAMUEL BOYER DAVIS, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Texas.


HEADQUARTERS BATES’ REGIMENT, Velasco, Tex., April 13, 1862.

Col. SAMUEL BOYER DAVIS, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Texas:

SIR: I have the honor to submit to you copies of reports made by Major Perry and Captain Ballowe, of my command. These reports are in reference to the unfortunate capture of Lieutenant Edwards and 7 of Captain Ballowe’s company and the burning of the schooner Columbia and her cargo of cotton.

It seems to me that the conduct of Captain Ballowe on that occasion, as represented by Major Perry, deserves a court-martial. However, the reports are respectfully submitted for your consideration.

Very respectfully,

J. BATES, Colonel, Commanding.



No. 2.

Report of Maj. S. S. Perry, Thirteenth Texas Infantry.


SIR: I have the honor to lay before you for your consideration the following report:

According to your order, issued to me April 5, I detailed Lieutenant Duff and 25 men of Captain Mosley’s company, and proceeded down the coast to San Luis. When about 6 miles from this place I met Mr. Follett with an express from Captain Ballowe, who informed me that the enemy had decoyed off Lieutenant Edwards, Orderly-Sergeant Westervelt, Sergeant Carville, and 5 privates of Captain Ballowe’s company, and Alexander Follett, citizen, and that they had passed into the bay in small boats from the steamship, which lay about 2 miles from the fort and near the bar, and he (Mr. Follett) supposed their object to have been to capture the schooner Columbia, loaded with cotton, which was lying in the bay near San Luis Island, or attack the said island. I then ordered one of my party to return immediately and report the above facts to Colonel Bates. I then proceeded to San Luis at a very rapid gait, and arrived there about 10.30 p.m., and immediately ordered out and posted scouts on the east end of the peninsula, and went to the fort and had an interview with Captain Ballowe. During said interview he informed me that the schooner Columbia was captured by the enemy, and that there must have been at least 100 of the enemy on board of her. They also captured a small sail-boat with passengers (the number I did not ascertain), which had been sent by the enemy out to the steamship, and that he expected to be attacked by the enemy with about 300 men, and that he wanted 100 more men.

I will also state, sir, that the enemy set the schooner on fire, and that it was burning when I got to San Luis. Thus matters stood when I arrived. I detailed a scout from my party, on ascertaining the above, to proceed to Velasco, to report the condition of affairs to Colonel Bates. I went from the island to the mainland for said purpose,and sent Lieutenant Duff with 5 men to re-enforce Captain Ballowe, and also sent orders to Captain Ballowe to have all his small boats concentrated at a point designated by me, intending to follow immediately when I had made the necessary arrangements with my pickets on the mainland.

During my absence, after those arrangements were made, I went to the beach to cross over to the island, at which time I was informed that Captain Ballowe had not concentrated his boats, but had made arrangements for abandoning the island, having sent back Lieutenant Duff, with the 5 men that I sent him and his entire company, under command of his first lieutenant, reserving only 13 men on the island, all of which acts were contrary to my orders, and in my opinion premature and not necessary; and on the arrival of the first lieutenant he informed me that Captain Ballowe and 13 men were coming off the island at once. I then ordered the first lieutenant (having waited some time for the arrival of Captain Ballowe) to collect all the small boats that he could, and after considerable delay he succeeded in collecting three or four small boats, which would have only carried about four men each. I then waited with the boats and the men under my command on the east end of the peninsula, momentarily expecting Captain Ballowe’s arrival, expecting some information from him. Not daring {p.548} to trust my command to any person else in case of an attack by the enemy, and while thus waiting, Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, with the balance of Captain Moseley’s men, arrived. After consulting with [Lieutenant] Colonel Brown I went over to the fort, and found Captain Ballowe, Lieutenant Taylor, and a few men at the fort; the balance of his command were scattered about.

I remained at the fort until daylight, at which time I discovered four boats, two of which belonged to the enemy, and two with the passengers and crew of the Columbia, that had been captured. They were then lying about one mile and a half from the fort. As soon-as I discovered them I ordered Captain Ballowe to fire on the enemy’s boats, which he did, this being the first cannon-shot fired, though the steamer had been lying since 1 o’clock the previous day within firing distance of the fort. After firing [Lieutenant] Colonel Brown arrived at the fort, when our shot was answered by one from the steamship. [Lieutenant] Colonel Brown then took command and fired again, exchanging some six shots, none of which took effect. The captured passengers and crew of the Columbia having been sent on shore from the steamer, she weighed anchor and put to sea.

Colonel, I will say, in conclusion, that had the orders I issued to Captain Ballowe on my arrival been carried out, I have not the slightest doubt but that I could have got between the steamer and the party sent to burn the cotton schooner and captured every one of them; but my orders being disregarded, all my efforts proved abortive.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. S. PERRY, Major, Bates’ Regiment.

Col. J. BATES, Commanding Bates’ Regiment.


No. 3.

Report of Capt. S. L. S. Ballowe, Thirteenth Texas Infantry.

FORT SAN LUIS, TEX., April 5, 1862.

SIR: I have to report to you the capture of Second Lieut. O. W. Edwards and 7 others of my command off this post on yesterday by the Federal screw propeller Montgomery, Captain Hunter, under the following circumstances, viz: She appeared off the bar with English colors, with a signal for a pilot, and fired a blank cartridge and anchored. After some time Lieutenant Edwards sent the life-boat out to the bar, with instructions to anchor inside and hoist a white flag and wait for them to meet them with a boat from the steamer. The crew obeyed instructions, but the steamer refusing to send a boat, as expected, they raised anchor and returned to the fort. By this time Mr. A. G. Follett arrived at the fort with the intention of getting the life-boat and a crew and going out to her, and was so well satisfied that she was an English vessel, that he induced the lieutenant to take a boat and go out. They went aboard about 3 p.m. I returned-to my quarters at 3.30 p.m. and watched their movements until night. About this time I saw one boat leave the steamer and come in the direction of the fort, and as soon as she arrived inside the bar I discovered that there were two instead of one, and supposed their destination to be the schooner Columbia, lying in the bay and laden with cotton, or else that they intended an attack on this island. It soon grew so dark, however, that I could not see them, and made my arrangements as best I could with my small force {p.549} to receive them, but the sentinel placed near the entrance to the canal saw them going to the schooner and fired on them. My first intention was to throw 15 or 20 men on the schooner, but it would have taken all the boats I had to do so, and only left me with about that number of men and no means of retreat in case I should be compelled to do so. Believing it to be unwise and unsafe to attempt to save her and sustain myself on the island, I concluded to let her go, knowing that it was impossible for them to get her out, the wind and tide both being against them. I had also sent to Major Perry for re-enforcements, by the aid of which I hoped to be enabled not only to hold my position, but to take the crew that had been sent to the schooner. As soon as they got possession of her they made a signal-light on her, which was answered by the steamer. After about an hour the sentinel nearest the schooner saw three boats leave and pull over near the Galveston shore, returning to the steamer, the signal-light still burning on deck and no evidences of her being on fire, which forced me to the conclusion that they had left a crew on board and went after a force to attack me.

About 11 o’clock Major Perry arrived and reported re-enforcements to the number of 25 men on the main-land, but that there were only 5 or 6 of them armed, and that he had sent for 40 or 50 more. I requested him to return to his men and as soon as the others arrived to bring them over.

[I] waited until 1.30 o’clock and no assistance came, and expecting an attack every moment, and knowing that I had only boats enough to take off 25 or 30 men, I deemed it prudent to send off a portion of my men, and did so, with instructions that if re-enforcements came up to return to the island. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown arrived with re-enforcements on the opposite side of the channel on the main-land about half an hour before day.

At 2.20 o’clock I discovered the schooner to be on fire. I continued on my lines from dark until daylight.

The names of my men taken are as follows: Second Lieut. O. W. Edwards, a native of Texas; Orderly Sergt. C. H. Westervelt, a native of New York; Third Sergt. James Carville, a native of Indiana; First Corp. William Turner, a native of England; Privates A. Metcalf; R. W. Silk, and Samuel Gibson, natives of England, and P. Cornyn, a native of Ireland.

This report has assumed munch greater length than I intended, but I have been unable to give all the circumstances without entering into detail.

With high respect, your obedient servant,

S. L. S. BALLOWE, Captain, Commanding Post San Lids.

Col. J. BATES, Commanding, Velasco, Tex.


APRIL 8, 1862.–Skirmish at Albuquerque, N. Mex.

Report of Col. Edward R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, commanding Department of New Mexico.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, San Antonio, N. Mar., April 11, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of the intention reported in my communication of the 31st ultimo my command (860 {p.550} regulars and 350 volunteer troops) left Fort Craig on the 1st instant, and arrived before Albuquerque on the afternoon of the 8th. I immediately made a demonstration upon the town, for the purpose of ascertaining its strength and the position of the enemy’s batteries. This demonstration was made by Captain Graydon’s Spy Company, supported by the regular cavalry, and developed the position of the batteries. In the skirmish Major Duncan, Third Cavalry, was seriously but it is hoped not fatally wounded. No other casualties were sustained.

It was my wish to have made a junction if possible below the Confederate troops in order to cut off their retreat, but the state of our supplies and the inferiority of our force rendered this inexpedient and it was determined to continue the demonstration before Albuquerque in order that the Confederate forces might be withdrawn out from Santa Fé, and then by a night march place my command in a position from which the junction could be effected without danger of opposition to either column. Accordingly the demonstrations against the town were continued, and during the night of the 9th and the succeeding day the command marched to this place. I am now in communication with the commander of the troops from Fort Union and can effect a junction at any point.

My spies from Santa Fé report that the entire Confederate force left that city and moved rapidly to Albuquerque upon the news of our appearance before that place. Their preparations indicate the intention of leaving the country. I shall therefore remain at this place to watch their movements and instruct Colonel Paul to join me here.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Colonel Nineteenth infantry, Commanding Department.



APRIL 13-22, 1862.–Pursuit of Confederate forces, including skirmish at Peralta, N. Mex., April 15.


No. 1.–Col. Edward R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, commanding Department of New Mexico.
No. 2.–Col. Gabriel R. Paul, Fourth New Mexico Infantry, commanding district.
No. 3.–Col. Benjamin S. Roberts, Fifth New Mexico Infantry, commanding district.

* See also Sibley’s report of engagement at Valverde, p. 506.

No. 1.

Report of Col. Edward R. S. Canby, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, commanding Department of New Mexico.


SIR: I have the honor to report that a junction with Colonel Paul’s command was effected at Tijeras on the evening of the 13th instant. I had in the mean time received information that the Confederate force {p.551} had left Albuquerque, moving down the river, and during the day and night of the 14th the united command was marched to Peralta, 36 miles distant, arriving there before the Confederates had any suspicion of the movement. On the morning of the 15th a mountain howitzer, and a train of 7 wagons, loaded with supplies and escorted by a lieutenant and 30 men, were captured. In the conflict 6 of the Confederates were killed, 3 wounded, and 22 captured. To cover this movement Colonel Paul, with his column and three companies of cavalry, under Captain Morris, Third Cavalry, had been detached, and, after completing it, received permission to clear the bosque in front of Peralta of the enemy’s force that then occupied it. After some sharp skirmishing, in which our loss was 1 killed and 3 wounded, this work was handsomely executed, and the bosque in front and rear of the town occupied by our troops.

The point occupied by the Confederate troops was known to be the strongest (except Fort Union) in New Mexico, and as nearly all the men had been twenty-four and many of them thirty-six hours without food, no general attack was designed until after the approaches to the place had been thoroughly reconnoitered and the troops allowed time to obtain food and rest. This reconnaissance was made on the afternoon of the same day, the points and direction of attack selected, and the camp of the command advanced to a point nearer the town, and where the trains could be guarded by a smaller number of men. During the night the enemy abandoned his position and crossed to the right bank of the river, leaving his sick and wounded behind him, without attendance, without medicines, and almost without food.

After detaching the staff officers attached to department headquarters to make arrangements for future operations and the train that could be spared for supplies the pursuit was continued down the left bank of the river (the shortest route), with the intention of crossing at La Joya, Polvadera, Sabino, or Fort Craig, if the enemy should not be overtaken sooner. On the night of that day our camp was 5 miles in his rear. On the 16th we had nearly overtaken the rear of his column, and the march was continued during the remainder of the day in sight and almost within cannon range, but on opposite sides of the river. At night our camps were directly opposite, but during the night he abandoned a large portion of his train, 38 wagons and the supplies that they contained, and fled into the mountains. After making arrangements for securing the property abandoned by the enemy the march was continued to Polvadera. At this place the command was halted for a day, in order to assure myself of the position and movements of the enemy and to secure the safety of a supply train in our rear. These objects having been accomplished, the march was resumed and continued until we reached this post on the afternoon of the 22d (yesterday).

The Confederate force is still in the mountains west of us. If they have taken the route by the Miembres it will be impossible to overtake them. If they have taken that by Cañada Alamosa I am not without hopes of intercepting them, although my scouts report that they have abandoned everything that would encumber them in their flight.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Colonel Nineteenth Infantry, Commanding Department.




No. 2.

Report of Col. Gabriel R. Paul, Fourth New Mexico Infantry, commanding district.


GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I left Fort Union, N. Mex., on the 6th of April, 1862, in command of a column to form a junction with Col. E. B. S. Canby, who had left Fort Craig on the 31st March, 1862. The junction was made at Tijeras, and our combined forces moved against the enemy, who retreated before us. On the 15th April, at Peralta, we had several skirmishes with the enemy, and during the night he evacuated Peralta and continued his retreat. The pursuit was kept up until our arrival at this post, when from want of provisions we halted; the enemy in a disorganized state, leaving behind him wagons, sick, &c., is making his way out of the Territory. I was left temporarily in the command of this district, with my headquarters at Fort Craig.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. R. PAUL, Colonel Fourth Regiment New Mexico Vols., Comdg. Dist.

The ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. ARMY, Washington, D. C.


No. 3.

Report of Col. Benjamin S. Roberts, Fifth New Mexico Infantry, commanding district.


GENERAL: I have the honor to report myself in command of the Central, Santa Fé, and Northern Military Districts, Department of New Mexico, and that I have established and garrisoned the posts at Albuquerque and Santa Fé, recently occupied by Confederate troops of General Sibley’s brigade. It will gratify you to know that the Texan troops are in retreat out of the country, having been compelled by our operations to abandon most of their supplies of all kinds and to take the mountain route behind the Socorro range to avoid the capture of their small remaining force of the 3,000 troops that invaded the Territory. They have abandoned their sick and wounded everywhere on their line of retreat, and are leaving in a state of demoralization and suffering that has few examples in any war. The long line of their retreat over Jornada and wastes of country without water and that furnish no supplies will render their march extremely difficult and aggravate the ordinary sufferings of a disorganized army under defeat. The broken-down condition of all our animals, the want of cavalry, and deficiencies of all our supplies will make a successful pursuit equally impracticable, if not impossible.

My reports of the operations of my division in the field from the 1st to the 16th instant will reach you in time through the proper channels.


I effected a junction with Colonel Paul’s command at San Antonio on the 13th, after a demonstration on Albuquerque and artillery combats there on the 8th and sharp skirmishing on the 8th and 9th. The last engagement was at Peralta, on the 15th. That drove the main Confederate forces from that position and put their army in utter rout.

We have great numbers of their prisoners, but I am unable to give the figures with accuracy, and some 60 wagons of their supply train and two pieces of artillery have fallen into our hands.

Colonel Canby is on the pursuit with both the northern and southern divisions of the army, and this information is communicated indirectly, because it will be many days before his official reports can be made.

According to the most reliable information General Sibley has not left 1,200 men of the army of 3,000 that appeared before Fort Craig on February 13th, and his retreat is the complete annihilation of his remaining forces.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. S. ROBERTS, Colonel, Commanding.

General LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.


APRIL13-SEPTEMBER 20, 1862.-Expedition from Southern California, through Arizona, to Northwestern Texas and New Mexico.


No. 1.–Brig. Gen. James H. Carleton, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.
No. 2.–Lieut. Col. Edward E. Eyre, First California Cavalry.
No. 3.–Surg. James M. McNulty, U. S. Army, Medical Inspector.

No. 1.

Reports of Brig. Gen. James H. Carleton, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.

HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Fort Barrett, Pima Villages, Ariz., May 25, 1862.

MAJOR: The advance guard of this column, under Lieut. Col. Joseph B. West, First California Volunteer Infantry, took possession of Tucson, in this Territory, on the 20th instant, without firing a shot. All the secession troops who were in the Territory and all of the secessionists, so far as we can learn, have fled-the troops to the Rio Grande, the citizens to Sonora. Our arrival is hailed with great joy by all the people who remain. We shall doubtless be able to get some forage flour, and beef; and perhaps sugar, from Sonora; but of this I will write you in detail from Tucson in a few days. A rumor comes from the Rio Grande that Sibley has met with a serious reverse.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Colonel First California Volunteers, Commanding.

Maj. RICHARD C. DRUM, Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. Army, San Francisco, Cal.




MAJOR: In my letter to you, dated June 18, I informed you that I had sent Expressman John Jones, Sergeant Wheeling, of Company F, First California Volunteer Infantry, and a Mexican guide named Chavez, with communications for General Canby.

These men started from Tucson on the evening of June 15. On the 18th they were attacked by a party of Apaches, and Sergeant Wheeling and the guide (Chavez) were killed, and Jones, almost by a miracle, succeeded in getting through the Indians, and after a hot pursuit on their part made out to reach the Rio Grande at a point known as Picacho, 6 miles above Mesilla. He was taken prisoner by the secessionists who brought him before Colonel Steele (William Steele, late Second Dragoons), who examined him, took his dispatches, and threw him into jail. He managed, however, to get word to General Canby that he was there and that the Column from California was really coming-an achievement that was considered absolutely impracticable. However, as soon as Steele ascertained this matter as a fact, hurried preparations were made to abandon the country. Meantime General Canby had sent a large force to Fort Craig to move on Mesilla as soon as transportation could be provided. A strong reconnoitering force, under Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre, left Tucson on June 21, and after a hard march arrived on the Rio Grande near Fort Thorn on July 4.

On the 5th this force occupied that work, it having been abandoned by the enemy. Here the colors were run up by the California troops. Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre was then re-enforced by a squadron of the Third U. S. Cavalry, and having constructed a raft and built a boat, was at the last advices about to cross the river to march on Fillmore and Fort Bliss, in Texas. Steele, meanwhile, had abandoned Mesilla and was making his way to Texas. The Mexican population was rising on every hand and were killing his men and running off his stock. It is said that Teel’s battery, C. S. Army, the one taken from Canby at Valverde, had been attacked some 30 miles below Fort Bliss and taken by the people, who had hovered around it to the number of 1,500. It was believed that neither Steele nor Teel would ever reach Texas. Sibley and Colonel Reily had fallen back on Texas in May, leaving Steele with what was considered force enough to hold Arizona.

All this news came last night. It was brought by Captain McCleave, who had been exchanged for two lieutenants, one of whom was Steele’s adjutant, who had been taken by Captain Fritz, First California Volunteer Cavalry. Captain Fritz went after Colonel Steele with a flag of truce to effect the exchange. He overtook Colonel Steele 20 miles below Fort Fillmore in full retreat.

As you have been informed, the uncommon drought of this summer had so dried up the country that it was impracticable to move a large force in the direction of the Rio Grande until the rains commenced falling. Usually this occurs by June 24, but this year there has been but little fall even yet. The column, however, has been taking the road by installments, commencing with Roberts’ company of infantry and Cremony’s cavalry, which was sent with 25,000 pounds of corn and thirty days’ rations for Eyre in case he was obliged to fail back to the Rio de Sauz, 128 miles from Tucson, starting on July 9. (See letter to Colonel West, marked A,* herewith inclosed.) I also inclose Colonel Eyre’s report,** dated at Fort Thorn, July 6, 1862. This officer deserves great credit for his enterprise. I trust the Governor will notice the conduct {p.555} of himself and men. This report is marked B.** I also send a subsequent report of Colonel Eyre’s, dated July 8, 1862 (C**), and also one still later, dated July 11, 1862, marked D,* and still another, dated July 14, 1862, marked E;** also a letter from Colonel Chivington, marked F;* also a letter from General Canby, marked G,* and letters* from General Canby to Colonel Chivington, dated June 9, 16, 18, 27,and July 1 and 4, 1862. I also inclose General Orders, Nos. 10 and 11, from these headquarters.

The troops marched on the days specified. I shall leave this post to-morrow and move rapidly to the front. If a demonstration on Northwestern Texas will serve as a diversion in favor of forces landing on the coast that State will soon be ours. The country is still dry, but we shall do our best.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

Maj. RICHARD C. DRUM, Asst. Adjt. Gen., San Francisco, Cal.

* Not found.

** See report No. 2, p. 585.

[Enclosure No. 1.]


HDQRS. COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Tucson, Ariz., July 17, 1862.

The Column from California will move to the Rio Grande in the following order:

I. On the 20th instant Col. Joseph B. West, First California Volunteer Infantry, with Companies B, C, and K, of his regiment, and Company G, of the Fifth California Volunteer Infantry. This command at the Rio de Sauz will receive the addition of Company E, of West’s regiment, and Thompson’s mountain howitzers. Maj. Theodore A. Coult, of the Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, is assigned to duty with this command. Colonel West will take 40,000 rounds of rifle-musket ammunition.

II. On the 21st instant a second command, consisting of Shun’s light battery, Third U. S. Artillery, and Companies A, First, and B, Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, will take up its line of march for the Rio Grande. This command will be supplied with all the artillery ammunition now here which pertains to Shinn’s battery and 17,000 rounds of ammunition for the rifle musket.

III. On the 23d instant a third command, under Lieut. Col. Edwin A. Rigg, consisting of Companies I, F, D, and H, First California Volunteer Infantry, will start for the Rio Grande. This command will have 28000 rounds of ammunition for the rifle musket.

IV. Each of these commands will be supplied with subsistence for thirty days, with at least two tents for each company and with a good supply of intrenching tools. Each command will also have one hospital tent complete and an ambulance for the sick and wounded, and will have a forge and material for shoeing horses and mules, and also a water-tank and a good supply of water-kegs.

V. On the 31st instant a train of wagons laden with forty days’ supplies of subsistence for the whole command hereby ordered forward, with the following ammunition, viz, 40,000 rounds of the rifle musket, 30,000 rounds for the Sharp’s carbine, and 20,000 rounds for the navy size Colt’s revolver, together with such other supplies of clothing, {p.556} tents, tools, spare wagon timbers, leather, wagon grease, horseshoes, mule-shoes, horseshoe-nails, stationery, &c., as may be required, will leave Tucson for the Rio Grande, escorted by Companies A, Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, and A, First California Volunteer Cavalry, each furnished with sixty days’ rations. This command will have an ambulance, forge, and water-tank, and such other articles as may be required to render it efficient.

VI. Company D, First California Volunteer Cavalry, will move from Tubac directly for the crossing of the San Pedro, where it will arrive on the 22d instant. From that point it will form the advance guard of the column, and habitually, unless otherwise ordered, will march one day in front of West’s command.

VII. Captain Cremony’s company (B, of the Second California Volunteer Cavalry) will march near the head of the column, to serve as flankers or as vedettes, as occasion may require.

VIII. The staff officers attached to these headquarters, except the chief commissary, will, until further orders, move with West’s command. Surgeon Prentiss, First California Volunteer Cavalry, will move with the second command, and Surgeon Wooster, Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, will move with Rigg’s command.

IX. The chief quartermaster, chief commissary, and medical director are charged with giving the most perfect efficiency possible to all matters pertaining to the public service in their several departments, keeping in mind the fact that this column is presumed now to move forward prepared at all points to engage the enemy at any moment by night or by day. Let nothing be omitted or neglected which will give due effect to this idea, whether on the march or on the field of battle.

X. That every soldier may move forward with a light, free step, now that we approach the enemy, he will no longer be required to carry his knapsack.

XI. This is the time when every soldier in this column looks forward with a confident hope that he, too, will have the distinguished honor of striking a blow for the old Stars and Stripes; when he, too, feels in his heart that he is the champion of the holiest cause that has ever yet nerved the arm of a patriot. The general commanding the column desires that such a time shall be remembered by all, but more particularly by those who from their guilt have been so unfortunate as to be prisoners on such an occasion. He therefore orders that all soldiers under his command who may be now held in confinement shall be at once released.

By command of Brigadier-General Carleton:

BEN. C. CUTLER, First Lieutenant, First Cal. Vol. Inf., Asst. Adjt. Gen.

[Inclosure No. 2.]


HDQRS. COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Tucson, Ariz., July 21, 1862.

I. All of the Territory of Arizona west of a meridian line running through what is known as Apache Pass, on the Butterfield Mail Route, hence to Mesilla, will constitute a military district, to be known as the District of Western Arizona, the headquarters of which shall be Tucson, Ariz. Maj. David Ferguson, First California Volunteer Cavalry is hereby placed in command of this district, as well as of the post and town of Tucson.

II. The duties which devolve upon Major Ferguson by this order are {p.557} additional to those he is required to perform as chief commissary of this column. He is also empowered to make estimates of all funds necessary to be used in the quartermaster’s department and subsistence department, so far as the wants and necessities of those departments may be concerned direct to the proper officers at the headquarters Department of the Pacific. Major Ferguson will disburse and direct the disbursement of these funds when received to the best interests of the public service, having reference first to having on hand an adequate supply of all articles of prime necessity, such as food and forage; likewise all that will insure mobility to the column by having its means of transportation always in as good order and good repair as practicable.

III. Great vigilance will be exercised by Major Ferguson to see that no successful attack is made on his trains within his district by secessionists or Indians. The troops in the district are to be kept in fighting condition, and the public animals and public stores so carefully guarded as to secure against loss by surprise or by depredation and secure against destruction by fire or by flood.

By command of Brigadier-General Carleton:

BEN. C. CUTLER, First Lieutenant, First Cal. Vol. Inf., A. A. A. G.


HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Ojo de la Vaca, Ariz., August 2, 1862.

GENERAL: General George Wright, U. S. Army, commanding the Department of the Pacific, recommended to the General-in-Chief that a force from California, to consist of a battery of four guns (Company A, U. S. Third Artillery), the First Regiment of Infantry California Volunteers, and five companies of the First Cavalry California Volunteers, should cross the Yuma and Colorado Deserts, and recapture the posts in Arizona and Southern New Mexico, then supposed to be in the hands of the rebels, and open the Southern Overland Mail Route.

These recommendations or suggestions were approved by the General-in-Chief; and arrangements were set on foot to carry them into effect. But what with unprecedented floods in California and uncommon drought on the Yuma and Colorado Deserts, and other serious difficulties which had to be encountered, it has been quite impossible to bring forward the force above indicated in a fighting condition at an earlier date than the present.

I was baffled in every effort I attempted to communicate with you. My first note, marked A, after many days came back to me, the messenger not being able to ascend the Salt Fork of the Gila on account of high water. My second note, marked B, after several days was returned from Sonora, as the Mexican expressmen were too much afraid to encounter the dangers of the journey through Chihuahua to El Paso and so on to your headquarters. Of the 3 men whom I sent with my third notes, marked C and D, 2 were killed by the Apache Indians near the Chiricahua Mountains on the evening of the 18th of June last. The third, after a miraculous escape and a perilous ride, arrived on the Rio Grande at sunset on the evening of the 20th, 160 miles from where his companions were murdered. Here, in an exhausted, half-delirious state, he was captured by secessionists, and, together with his dispatches, taken to Colonel Steele, C. S. Army. On the 17th of June I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre, First Cavalry, California Volunteers, {p.558} with a small command from his regiment to make a forced reconnaissance toward the Rio Grande. He started from Tucson on this duty on the evening of June 21. (See my letter to him, marked E.)

On the 8th of July 1 directed some supplies to be forwarded half way to the Rio Grande, to provide for the emergency of Eyre’s being obliged to fall back. (See letter to Colonel West, marked F.) Roberts’ command, which acted as a guard to these supplies, had a fight with the Apache Indians at Apache Pass, in which he lost 2 killed and 2 wounded, but in which he succeeded in driving the Indians, as he reports, with a loss of 9 killed on their side.

From June 7 until July 17 I was busily employed in repairing trains, in getting supplies up from Fort Yuma and from Sonora, and in regulating somewhat the affairs of Western Arizona On the 17th July, without yet having heard from the Rio Grande, I made the order for the advance to that river. It is herewith inclosed, marked G.*

On the evening of the 21st of July, after the second detachment of the column had started from Tucson, I received your note of the 4th ultimo, together with copies of some orders and instructions to the commander of the Southern Military District, Department of New Mexico.

I left Tucson on the 23d ultimo and arrived at this point on the 1st instant. I left 100 men at Apache Pass. (See General Orders, No. 12, marked H.**)

Colonel West’s detachment will arrive here to-morrow; Captain Willis’ the next day; Lieutenant-Colonel Rigg’s on the 5th. I shall halt two or three days on the Miembres to recruit and let the column close up, and shall then proceed by the stage route to Mesilla.

I received your letter of the 9th of July day before yesterday.

It was not the intention of General Wright to throw a command into your department which would embarrass you to keep it supplied. The troops from California were to draw nearly all their stores from Fort Yuma, to which point they are shipped from San Francisco. Some were to be bought in Sonora. My supply train, which leaves Tucson to-day, will have forty days’ rations for the whole command from the 20th instant. Even those rations of yours consumed by Eyre’s cavalry I had hoped to replace, learning to what straits you had been put for subsistence for your own command. I am happy to know that you have now such an abundance of stores, and should I fall short of anything, I will cheerfully avail myself of your authority to draw on your depot at Fort Craig for what I need.

A train of about 50 wagons will ply between Fort Yuma and Tucson, starting from Tucson, say, the 12th instant, to accumulate and keep up a good supply at that point. A contractor has given bonds to keep the Column from California supplied with fresh beef at 9 cents a pound. Stores can be hauled by private trains from the port of Guaymas to Tucson for five cents a pound. This latter information may be of service to you. I have no subsistence funds here; the paper marked It will exhibit the condition of those in the quartermaster’s department.

The paper marked K** will tell you of my means of transportation after the arrival of the train which leaves Tucson to-day, minus, say, three teams left at Fort Bowie, Apache Pass, Chiricahua Mountains.

All my troops except one company of cavalry have pay due from February 28, 1862. It will be a great kindness to have them paid, if {p.559} it can be done without inconvenience to the troops of your own department. I have no paymaster with me, and was not counting on the troops being paid by your paymaster. The men are sadly in want of small stores, tobacco, &c. We have no sutler, and of course, on the desert, the soldiers have exhausted what few necessaries they happened by chance to have.

I have, say, 100 rounds of ammunition for small-arms per man, and can soon have more from Fort Yuma, and I have for the four pieces of artillery the ammunition named in a letter to Lieutenant Shinn, U. S. Third Artillery, marked L.**

The men have only fatigue clothing and that somewhat worn, but I expect some up from Fort Yuma very soon. Can you spare any?

Capt. Tredwell Moore, assistant quartermaster, is the only staff officer belonging to the army with me, and he will be relieved from duty in this column shortly after my arrival at Mesilla. I have with me two surgeons, one assistant and one acting assistant surgeon, all of the volunteer service. For the state of my medical supplies, see Surgeon McNulty’s letter, marked M.**

The strength of the command when it arrives at Mesilla will be approximately:

Field and staff25
Say of artillery, aggregate73
Of infantry825
Of cavalry350
Total fighting force.1,273
Of employés127
Total requiring subsistence.1,400

I will send you an accurate field return as soon as the command under Captain McCleave reaches Mesilla.

I inclose herewith a letter from Maj. Richard C. Drum, assistant adjutant-general Department of the Pacific, marked N; also a copy of General Orders, No. 29 [1862], from the War Department, on the same sheet.

I beg to be fully instructed by you in all measures wherein myself or the California Column can be of the most service. We have not crossed the continent thus far to split hairs, but with an earnest resolution to do our duty whatever be our geographical position; and so the marches of this column tend always toward the heart of the rebellion; the men will forget their toils and sufferings on the Great Desert in their hope ultimately to reach the enemy.

In all this I am sure I but express the sentiments of General Wright. As the gallantry of the troops under your command has left us nothing to do on the Rio Grande, it would be a sad disappointment to those from California if they should be obliged to retrace their steps without feeling the enemy.

I hope I do not ask too much when I inquire whether a force could not profitably be thrown into Western Texas, where it is reported the Union men are only waiting for a little help to run up the old flag.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

Brig. Gen. E. R. S. CANNY, Comdg. Dept. of New Mexico.

* Inclosure G is a duplicate of General Orders, No. 10, p. 555.

** Omitted as of no present importance.


[Inclosure A.]


Col. E. R. S. CANNY, Commanding Department of New Mexico:

COLONEL: Having no means of getting reliable information from you except by a special express, I send the bearer of this to you for that purpose. He will be able to tell you about this part of the country, and will bring to me any communication you may desire to write.

I have a force of light battery (Company A, Third Artillery) of two 12-pounder howitzers and two 6-pounder guns, and fifteen companies of infantry and five companies of cavalry, California Volunteers, well armed and provided for, and the men are as fine material as any in the service. I can move on from Tucson or Fort Breckinridge as soon as I hear from you. I am ready and anxious to co-operate with you.

If necessary I can be followed by still another regiment or more of infantry, to be sent by steam to the mouth of the Colorado.

It will afford me pleasure to enter into any plan you may suggest, so my force can be of service to you and to the cause.

Let me know your strength, your situation, your purposes; the strength, situation, and probable purposes of Sibley and his troops.

Please send an escort with my messenger, to get him safely through the Apaches.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Colonel First California Volunteers, Commanding.


At the time this letter was written it was the intention of General Carleton to move forward to the Rio Grande five companies of the Fifth Infantry, California Volunteers. Some of those companies are now serving in Western Arizona.

BEN. C. CUTLER, First Lieut., First Infantry, Cal. Vols., A. A. A. General.

[Inclosure B.]


General E. R. S. CANNY, U. S. A., Commanding U. S. Forces in New Mexico:

GENERAL: I had the honor to write to you on the 3d ultimo from Fort Yuma, Cal., that I was on my way to Arizona, and desired to co-operate with you in driving the rebels from New Mexico. My messenger was unable to reach you via the Salinas Fork of the Gila on account of high water. I therefore dispatch another through Mexican territory.

I am ordered to recapture all the works in New Mexico which had been surrendered to rebels. This I shall proceed to do, starting from here as soon as the rains have filled the natural tanks, say early in July.

What number of troops can find subsistence, say at twenty days’ notice, at Mesilla and Fort Bliss, in Texas? I can start from here with sixty days’ supply for one battery of artillery, one regiment of infantry, {p.561} and five companies of cavalry. With this force I desire to co-operate with you. This will enable me to hold this country besides.

I have placed Arizona under martial law, and shall continue it so until the civil officers come. I can bring more force if necessary. Let me know by the bearer your wishes, purposes, strength; the strength, position, and apparent purposes and condition of Sibley and his forces.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Colonel First California Volunteers, Commanding.

[Inclosure C.]


General E. R. S. CANNY, Comdg. Department of New Mexico, Fort Craig, N. Mex.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that I have advanced thus far from California with a force of regulars and volunteers sufficient in numbers to occupy this Territory.

I have assumed to represent the United States authority, and for the time being have placed the Territory under martial law.

Inclosed herewith please find a proclamation to this effect. I send this to you by express, that you may not go to the expense of sending troops from your department to occupy Arizona.

I congratulate you on your success against the Confederate forces under Sibley. If you can send an escort to the expressman who takes this I shall feel greatly obliged.

I am, general, respectfully,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Colonel First California Volunteers, Commanding.

[Inclosure to C.]

To all whom it may concern:

The Congress of the United States has set apart a portion of New Mexico and organized it into a Territory complete of itself. This is known as the Territory of Arizona. It comprises within its limits all the country eastward from the Colorado River, which is now occupied by the forces of the United States known as the Column from California; and as the flag of the United States shall be carried by this column still farther eastward, these limits will extend in that direction until they reach the farthest geographical boundary of this Territory.

Now, in the present chaotic state in which Arizona is found to be, with no civil officers to administer the laws-indeed, with an utter absence of all civil authority-and with no security of life or property within its borders, it becomes the duty of the undersigned to represent the authority of the United States over the people of Arizona as well as over all those who compose or are connected with the Column from California. Thus, by virtue of his office as military commander of the United States forces now here, and to meet the fact that wherever within our boundaries our colors fly there the sovereign power of our country must at once be acknowledged and law and order at once prevail, the undersigned, as a military governor, assumes control of this Territory until such time as the President of the United States shall otherwise direct.


Thus also it is hereby declared that until civil officers shall be sent by the Government to organize the civil courts for the administration of justice the Territory of Arizona is hereby placed under martial law. Trials for capital offenses shall be held by a military commission, to be composed of not more than thirteen nor less than nine commissioned officers. The rules of evidence shall be those customary in practice under the common law. The trials shall be public and shall be trials of record, and the mode of procedure shall be strictly in accordance with that of courts-martial in the Army of the United States. Unless the public safety absolutely requires it, no execution shall follow conviction until the orders in the case by the President shall be known.

Trials for minor offenses shall be held under the same rules, except that for these a commission of not more than five nor less than three commissioned officers may sit, and a vote of a majority determine the issue. In these cases the orders of the officer organizing the commission shall be final.

All matters in relation to rights in property and lands which may be in dispute shall be determined for the time being by a military commission, to be composed of not more than five nor less than three commissioned officers. Of course appeals from the decisions of such commissions can be taken to the civil courts when once the latter have been established.

There are certain fundamental rules for the government of the people of this Territory which will be rigidly enforced:

I. No man who has arrived at lawful age shall be permitted to reside within this Territory who does not without delay subscribe to the oath of allegiance to the United States.

II. No words or acts calculated to impair that veneration which all good patriots should feel for our country and Government will be tolerated within this Territory or go unpunished if sufficient proof can be had of them.

III. No man who does not pursue some lawful calling or have some legitimate means of support shall be permitted to remain in the Territory.

Having no thought or motive in all this but the good of the people and aiming only to do right, the undersigned confidently hopes and expects, in all he does to further these ends, to have the hearty co-operation of every good citizen and soldier in Arizona. All this is to go into effect from and after this date and will continue in force, unless disapproved or modified by General George Wright, U. S. Army, commanding the Department of the Pacific, under whose orders the Column from California has taken the field.

Done at the headquarters Column from California, in Tucson, Ariz., this 8th day of June, A. D. 1862.

JAMES H. CARLETON, Colonel First Cal. Vols., Major Sixth U. S. Cavalry.

[Enclosure D.]


Brig. Gen. E. R. S. CANNY, U. S. A., Comdg. Department of New Mexico, Fort Craig, N. Mex.:

GENERAL: I have forwarded by another express the originals of the notes-numbered 2, which the bearer of this takes to you.


My wagons are so shrunk in coming over the desert that I am obliged to delay here until the 1st proximo, when from the rains having fallen I hope to be able to move to the Rio Grande. I hope I can count on getting meat and bread there. Mesilla is far removed from my source of supply. Pray advise me of all this.

I am anxious to co-operate with you. My men are the finest material I have ever seen and anxious to strike a blow for the cause.

Have you a plenty of rifled-musket ammunition?

We can be on the Rio Grande in fifteen days from this post.

Respectfully, &c.,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Colonel First California Volunteers, Commanding.

P. S.-I am straining every point to get up supplies so as to leave July 1.

[Inclosure E.]


Lieut. Col. EDWARD E. EYRE, First Cavalry, California Volunteers, Present:

COLONEL: It is important that a forced reconnaissance be made in advance of the column from the Rio Grande, and you are selected for this delicate and at the same time hazardous duty.

You will take with you for this purpose a squadron of your regiment, to be composed of all the effective officers and men of Companies B and C now here.

For transportation you will have three six-mule teams. Take six aparejos in the wagons for packing purposes when necessary. Take, say, four days’ pork, and dried beef and pemmican, and flour, coffee, sugar, salt, and vinegar for thirty days. Take 70 rounds of ammunition for the Sharp’s carbines per man, and 30 rounds per man of navy-revolver ammunition. You should have at least 6 pick-axes and 12 long-handled shovels as intrenching tools.

Acting Assistant Surgeon Kittredge will accompany you.

All other essentials of your outfit will readily suggest themselves to you. When you bear in mind that you are always to be ready to fight, with your horses in the best possible condition, all, and only all, you will want practically to fulfill these requirements will come to your mind.

You go to watch the road in the direction of the enemy. If possible von will capture or drive in his pickets, and observe and report upon his situation, strength, movements, and apparent purposes. To do this successfully the greatest prudence, sagacity, forecast, and boldness are necessary. I hardly need assure you that I have the fullest confidence in your ability to carry the purpose of your reconnaissance to the most useful results.

Avoid collision with the Indians. Of course you will report back to me all that it is necessary for me to know.

Wishing you success, I am, colonel, very sincerely, yours,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Colonel First California Volunteers, Commanding.


[Inclosure F.]


Col. JOSEPH R. WEST, First Infantry, Cal. Vols., Comdg. at Tucson, Ariz.:

COLONEL: You will order a sergeant and 9 trusty infantry soldiers and 3 first-rate cavalry soldiers to the crossing of the San Pedro, to guard some forage which the quartermaster will send to that point.

You will order Roberts’ company, of the First Infantry, California Volunteers, to the San Simon, en route to the Rio Grande, where they will make an intrenched camp, if possible, near the mail station, and there await further orders.

A train will accompany these troops with thirty days’ rations for Colonel Eyre’s command, commencing on its arrival at the San Simon, and thirty days for the troops who are to remain at the San Pedro.

Each soldier will have 110 rounds of ammunition, and the party at the San Simon will have some intrenching tools and also some scythes.

These troops are sent to guard these supplies until the column reaches them on its march to the Rio Grande. They also go to observe the road and to form a support to Colonel Eyre in case he falls back.

You cannot be too minute in your instructions to them, having in view the furtherance of these ends. They are to have scouts all the time well to the front, unless menaced, say 50 or more miles; they are to keep me informed of movements in their vicinity of the enemy, and if attacked they are not to surrender on any terms. They are to be uncommonly watchful that Indians do not run off their stock, and at the same time are not to attack the Indians unless the latter are the aggressors.

I am, colonel, respectfully,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure N.]


Col. JAMES H. CARLETON, First Infantry, Cal. Vols., Comdg. Column from California:

SIR: Inclosed I have the honor to transmit, by direction of the general commanding the department, General Orders, No. 29, from the War Department. It is probable that your command may enter the Department of New Mexico. You will nevertheless act under the orders of the general commanding the Department of the Pacific, and make your returns as usual to these headquarters.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. C. DRUM, Assistant Adjutant-General.



WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. GEN.’S OFFICE, Washington, March 22, 1862.

In the changes recently made in the boundaries of department commands it may happen that troops belonging to one department may either be in, or may unavoidably pass into, another. In such a case the troops so situated will continue under the command of the general {p.565} under whose orders they may have been operating; but it is expected that they will be withdrawn as soon as the position they may occupy comes within the control of the proper commander of the department.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.


AUGUST 10, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded. I have supposed that General Orders, No. 29, of 1862, applied to troops passing through, even temporarily within, the limits of a department to which they did not belong, but it will be seen that General Wright has given it a more extended application. This is not immediately material, as no question of command or personal consideration will be allowed by me to interfere with the interests of the service. It is proper, however, that its status should be fixed by superior authority.

If this force is to return to the Department of the Pacific, that fact will modify materially the recommendations made in my report of the 6th instant.


HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Santa Fé, N. Mex., September 20, 1862.

COLONEL: I wrote to you on July 22, informing you of all the important events connected with the Column from California from June 18 to that date. I then inclosed copies of General Orders, Nos. 10 and 11, from these headquarters, which prescribed the manner in which the column should march across the desert from Tucson to the Rio Grande.

I left Tucson myself on July 23; passed Colonel West with most of the troops encamped on the San Pedro, on the 24th, and led the advance of the column from that point to Las Cruces, N. Mex., with one company of infantry and two of cavalry. From the hostile attitude of the Chiricahua Indians, I found it indispensably necessary to establish a post in what is known as Apache Pass. It is known as Fort Bowie, and garrisoned by 100 rank and file of the Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, and 13 rank and file of Company A, First California Volunteer Cavalry. This post commands the water in that pass. Around this water the Indians have been in the habit of lying in ambush and shooting troops and travelers as they came to drink. In this way they killed 3 of Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre’s command, and in attempting to keep Captain Roberts’ First California Volunteer Infantry away from the spring a fight ensued, in which Captain Roberts had 2 men killed and 2 wounded. Captain Roberts reports that the Indians lost 10 killed. In this affair the men of Captain Roberts’ company are reported as behaving with great gallantry.

Two miles beyond Apache Pass I found the remains of 9 white men, who had been murdered by the Indians. They were a party traveling from the Pino Alto mines to California. One of them had been burned at the stake; we saw the charred bones and the burnt ends of the rope by which he had been tied. The remains of 7 of these men were buried on that spot.

From the Rio de Sauz to Ojo de la Vaca there was a great dearth of water. At the latter place I addressed a letter to General Canby, giving {p.566} him all the elements going to make up the column, the object of its march, and the wishes of General Wright. A copy of that letter is herewith inclosed, marked A.*

Having been informed that a large number of men, women, and children were in a destitute and starving condition at Pino Alto mines, 40-odd miles northeastward from the Ojo de la Vaca, I directed Colonel West to furnish them with some subsistence stores as a gratuity. (See letter of instructions to Colonel West, marked B, and Captain Shirland’s report on the starving condition of these people, marked C.)

I arrived on the Rio Grande on August 7 at a point 3 miles above Fort Thorn, and immediately communicated with General Canby by letter, marked D.

On August 9 I passed the Rio Grande at the San Diego Crossing, 18 miles below Fort Thorn. The river was still very high and very rapid, but the men stripped off their clothes and dragged the wagons through by main force; the baggage, subsistence stores, ammunition, &c., were crossed in two small, leaky boats. At this point we built a larger and better boat for the use of the detachments of the column still to come up.

The head of the column arrived at Las Cruces on August 10. Here I found the advance guard, under Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre, First California Volunteer Cavalry, strengthened by four companies of the Fifth U. S. Infantry, which had been sent down from Fort Craig. Two companies of regular cavalry had also been sent down to re-enforce Colonel Eyre; but these had been recalled and had started back to Fort Craig on August 9.

Unfortunately Colonel Eyre had been forbidden by Colonel Chivington and Colonel Howe to proceed in the direction of Texas below Las Cruces; otherwise I believe he would have captured the whole of Steele’s force of Confederate troops. (See his report** on this subject, marked E.) The energy, enterprise, and resources of Colonel Eyre, as exhibited in his rapid march from Tucson to the Rio Grande; his crossing of that river, and his unlooked-for presence directly upon the heels of the retreating rebels, can not be too highly appreciated. He exhibited some of the finest qualities of a soldier, and had he not been fettered by orders from higher authority than himself; he would, without a doubt, have achieved advantages over the enemy creditable to himself and to the Column from California. But for his timely arrival on the Rio Grande, Las Cruces and Mesilla would have both been laid in ashes by the enemy. Hampered as he was by orders, he nevertheless managed to hoist the Stars and Stripes upon Fort Thorn, Fort Fillmore, Mesilla, and Fort Bliss, in Texas.

On August 11 General Canby wrote me a very handsome letter, in which he liberally offered to furnish the column with all the supplies it might need, together with $30,000 subsistence funds. General Wright will be gratified to read it; it is marked F. It will be seen by that letter that the medical supplies and ordnance stores in the Department of New Mexico are so abundant as to preclude the necessity of any more of these stores being purchased or shipped in the Department of the Pacific for any of the troops east of Fort Yuma belonging to the Column from California.

On August 11 General Canby sent to me another communication, in which he treats of the impracticability of an invasion of Texas from {p.567} this direction, and in which he speaks of removing the regular troops from New Mexico and of receiving other re-enforcements from California. As the views it sets forth seem to be of great value, I submit it for the perusal of General Wright; it is marked G.

On August 12 General Canby wrote still another letter, in which he authorized me to use my own judgment in regard to the disposition of troops in Arizona and Southern New Mexico; it is marked H. My letter to General Canby, dated August 15, together with General Orders, Nos. 14 and 15, herewith inclosed, will inform General Wright of the distribution of the troops along the Rio Grande. These communications are marked I.

On August 16 I started with three companies of cavalry for Fort Bliss, in Texas. At the town of Franklin, opposite El Paso, I found a surgeon of the Confederate Army and 25 sick and disabled soldiers, whom I made prisoners of war by order of General Canby. I also found that a large amount of hospital stores and quartermaster’s property, which once had belonged to the United States, was in store-rooms connected with the custom-house at El Paso, in Mexico. These stores I managed to recover; there were 12 wagon loads of them. I sent them to the depot at Mesilla, which I had established. I then proceeded 100 miles farther down the valley of the Rio Grande into Texas. The object of my march was to restore confidence to the people. They had been taught by the Texans that we were coming among them as marauders and as robbers. When they found we treated them kindly and paid them a fair price for all the supplies we required they rejoiced to find, as they came under the old flag once more, that they could now have protection and will be treated justly. The abhorrence they expressed for the Confederate troops and of the rebellion convinced me that their loyalty to the United States is now beyond question.

On August 22 the troops of the Column from California hoisted the Stars and Stripes over Fort Quitman. This was done by Capt. John C. Cremony, with his company (B, Second California Volunteer Cavalry). On the same day Captain Shirland, First California Volunteer Cavalry, was directed to proceed to Fort Davis, 140 miles still farther into Texas, and hoisted the national colors over that post. (See General Orders, No. 16, marked K.) How well Captain Shirland performed this duty and how gallantly he and his men behaved in a fight with the Indians will be seen by his report, a copy of which is herewith inclosed, marked L.

Captain Roberts’ company, which whipped the Indians in Apache Pass, is from Sacramento. Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre, who led my advance guard to the Rio Grande and hoisted the colors over Forts Thorn, Fillmore, Bliss, and Mesilla, is from Sacramento, and so is Captain Shirland, who hoisted the Stars and Stripes 240 miles farther into the State of Texas, and also whipped the Indians in that neighborhood. This speaks nobly for the men from that city.

I inclose a telegraphic communication from General Canby to the Adjutant-General of the Army, dated August 10, in which he requests that a regiment more of infantry and five companies of cavalry be sent into the Department of New Mexico from California, so as to relieve the regular troops now here; it is marked M.

On August 21 I was instructed to arrange the affairs of the District of Arizona so as to turn over that district to the officer next in rank to myself and to hold myself in readiness to repair to the headquarters Department of New Mexico. I also received Special Orders, No. 148, from the headquarters of that department, directing me to send an officer {p.568} as bearer of dispatches to the commander of the Department of the Pacific. Copies of these documents are herewith inclosed, marked N.

On September 2 I received Special Orders, No. 153 (marked O), directing me to relieve Brigadier-General Canby in the command of the Department of New Mexico. Previous to this order I had published General Orders, No. 17, which posted a company of infantry at Franklin, Tex., and another one at Hart’s Mill, Tex. It is herewith inclosed, marked P.

On September 1 I put the Texan prisoners of war whom I found at Franklin on their parole, and sent them on their way to San Antonio, Tex., escorted by Company D, First California Volunteer Cavalry. (See my letter to the commanding officer of the Confederate forces, San Antonio, Tex., marked Q.) I then returned to Las Cruces, N. Mex., where I published General Orders, No. 20 (marked R), regulating the affairs of the District of Arizona and transferring the command of that district to Col. Joseph R. West, First California Volunteer Infantry. (I still retain the command of the Column from California, and shall cause all the reports which you require in your letter to me, dated at San Francisco, May 30, to be sent to the headquarters Department of the Pacific, until I am otherwise ordered by competent authority.) I then proceeded to Santa Fé, arriving here on the 16th instant.

General Canby relinquished the command of the Department of New Mexico on the 18th instant. (See General Orders, No. 83, marked S.> I assumed command of the department on the same day. (See General Orders, No. 84, marked T.)

Some additional changes have been made of the troops pertaining to the Column from California, which are indicated in a letter to Colonel West, dated September 8 (marked U), and in another dated September 9 (marked V); also two others, dated September 14 (marked W and X, respectively).

I inclose for your information three communications (marked Y.)*** I also inclose a copy of an order directing Lieut. Col. Edward E. Eyre, First California Volunteer Cavalry, to bear these dispatches to the headquarters Department of the Pacific; it is marked Z.

These various communications will give General Wright a pretty good idea of the operations of the troops composing the Column from California from July 22, of this year, to the present time.

I find that the supply of provisions in this department is adequate to the wants of all the troops from California now serving here, and therefore respectfully recommend that no more subsistence stores be purchased for the Column from California until further advices on this subject. I propose to transport from Fort Yuma to Tucson during the cool weather of the fall and winter a large quantity of subsistence stores now in excess at the former post, so as to provide for the contingency of other troops being ordered to New Mexico from California; to provide for the troops already stationed in Arizona, and to form a magazine in case of any reverses here which may lead to the destruction of our present stores or oblige the California or other troops to retire towards the Pacific. When these supplies have been accumulated at Tucson by a train now employed for that purpose that train will be required for service in this department; meantime it can be used as transportation from Fort Yuma to the Rio Grande for any troops which General Wright may order from the Department of the Pacific into Arizona or New Mexico.


The Southern Overland Mail Route has been opened, and the military posts in Arizona, Southern New Mexico, and Northwestern Texas have been reoccupied by troops composing the Column from California. Thus far the instructions of the general commanding the Department of the Pacific have been carried out.

It was no fault of the troops from California that the Confederate forces fled before them. It is but just to say that their having thus fled is mainly to be attributed to the gallantry of the troops under General Canby’s command. That they were hurried in their flight by the timely arrival of the advance guard of the Column from California, under Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre, there cannot be a doubt. The march from the Pacific to the Rio Grande by the Column from California was not accomplished without immense toil and great hardships, or without many privations and much suffering from heat and want of water.

The amount of labor performed by Col. Joseph R. West, the second in command, was immense and of the greatest practical importance. Much of our success was dependent on his energy, perseverance, cheerfulness, and high soldierly qualities. I cannot too strongly recommend that this officer be promoted to the grade of brigadier-general of volunteers as a reward for these services, and particularly as he now commands the most important district in this department. I trust that General Wright will urge the necessity of this advancement of Colonel West, and set forth to the General-in-Chief his eminent fitness for the office of brigadier-general. This will promote Lieutenant-Colonel Rigg, which will be a reward for his important services as commanding officer at Fort Yuma during the past winter and for his efficient labors in the column while crossing the Great Desert. I regard Colonel Rigg as one of the finest soldiers in the Column from California. Those who knew the troops from California as I knew them will consider this a high compliment.

Lieut. Col. Edward E. Eyre, First California Volunteer Cavalry, deserves a regiment. The zeal he has manifested in the discharge of his duties and the alacrity and cheerfulness he has always shown when called upon for any hazardous enterprise distinguished him as one eminently fitted for the profession of arms. If five companies more of cavalry are to be sent from California, as requested by General Canby, I trust they will be added to the five which now compose the First California Volunteer Cavalry, and that Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre will be commissioned as full colonel.

The services of Major Coult, Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, and of Major Ferguson, First California Volunteer Cavalry, and of Major McMullen, First California Volunteer Infantry, have been most arduous and are deserving of reward.

The officers and men of the Second California Volunteer Cavalry and of the Fifth California Volunteer Infantry shared alike in all the privations and toil encountered by the First California Volunteer Infantry and the First California Volunteer Cavalry. As soldiers, in the highest acceptation of that word, they were all equally subordinate, patient, energetic, and patriotic. If I should select the names of some of them to be rewarded for these high qualities it would be an invidious distinction.

Capt. John B. Shinn and First Lieut. Franklin Harwood, of the Third U. S. Artillery, for their incessant toil by night and by day to bring the battery of light artillery which is attached to the Column from California through the Yuma and Gila Deserts, should each {p.570} receive the compliment of a brevet-Captain Shinn to be brevetted as major and First Lieutenant Harwood as captain. Unless these young men are rewarded by a compliment of this kind I shall always feel that the passage of a battery of light artillery, always in fighting condition, over such an inhospitable waste, in the midst of the heats of summer, is a matter of such trivial importance in the profession of arms as not to be worthy of notice. Theirs was the first battery that ever crossed the desert. I am sure that he who crosses the next one will be considered an accomplished soldier.

I trust that General Wright will call the attention of the General-in-Chief to the credit which is eminently due these young gentlemen for their services in this column. I have already asked for promotion of my adjutant-general, Lieut. Benjamin C. Cutler; for my medical director, Surg. James M. McNulty, and for my regimental quartermaster, First Lieut. Lafayette Hammond, all of the First California Volunteer Infantry. Their merits are too well known at the headquarters Department of the Pacific to need any further words of commendation from myself.

In conclusion, I beg to thank General Wright for the confidence he always reposed in me. In carrying out his orders and instructions I have endeavored to do my best, yet, as it was a new and very extended field of operations, my judgment about what was best to be (lone under emergencies as they arose was doubtless not always of the soundest character; yet I feel that General Wright has kindly overlooked all imperfections of this nature, and saved me the pain of many rebukes, which no doubt I have deserved. For this I feel very grateful.

The march of the column from California in the summer months across the Great Desert, in the driest season that has ever been known for thirty years, is a military achievement creditable to the soldiers of the American Army; but it would not be just to attribute the success of this march to any ability on my part. That success was gained only by the high physical and moral energies of that peculiar class of officers and men who composed the Column from California. With any other troops I am sure I should have failed.

I send you a set of colors which have been borne by this column. They were hoisted by Colonel West on Forts Breckinridge and Buchanan, and over Tucson, Ariz.; by Colonel Eyre over Forts Thorn and Fillmore, and over Mesilla, N. Mex., and over Fort Bliss, in Texas. They were hoisted by Captain Cremony over Fort Quitman, and by Captain Shirland over Fort Davis, in Texas; and thus again have those places been consecrated to our beloved country.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

Lieut. Col. RICHARD C. DRUM, Asst. Adjt. General, U. S. Army, San Francisco, Cal.

* See Carleton’s report to Canby of August 2, p. 557.

** No. 2, dated August 30, 1862, p. 585.

*** Not found.

[Enclosure B.]

HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Miembres River, Ariz., August 6, 1862.

Col. JOSEPH R. WEST, First California Volunteer infantry, Comdg. Camp:

COLONEL: I have been credibly informed that there are some 20 families of men, women, and children at the Pino Alto mines, some 40 {p.571} miles from this camp, who are nearly perishing for want of food, the Indians having robbed them of what they had, and the secessionists having captured and appropriated to themselves a train of supplies which was on the way some time since to their relief. You will send Capt. E. D. Shirland, First California Volunteer Cavalry, and Lieut. D. C. Vestal, First California Volunteer Infantry, with a sufficient escort of cavalry and infantry, to the Pino Alto mines with some provisions for these starving people. Send them 5 beeves, 600 pounds, more or less, of pemmican, 3,000 pounds of flour, and 1,500 pounds of panoche (Mexican sugar). These provisions will be given to the most needy. If it be not practicable to distribute them all at once, they will be left in the hands of some responsible man for this purpose, proper receipts being taken therefor. I instruct Captain Shirland particularly on these points, and direct him and Lieutenant Vestal to make a joint report on the number and sufferings of the people at Pino Alto, and whether they are strong enough to protect themselves from further harm from the Indians.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

[Inclosure C.]

CAMP ON RIO MIEMBRES, ARIZ., August 10, 1862.

Col. JOSEPH R. WEST, First California Volunteer Infantry:

COLONEL: Pursuant to instructions received on the 6th instant we left this place on that day for the Pino Alto mines, taking with us a quantity of provisions for distribution among the inhabitants of that place, represented to be in a starving condition. We arrived there on the 7th, and called upon the principal men of the place to assist us in ascertaining the names, ages, business, condition, number, &c., of the inhabitants. We found about 30 Americans, French, Germans, &c.; two of the Germans with families; all the rest were Mexicans. Most of them were extremely poor and destitute, there being scarcely any ore at all in the mines. They had received some little assistance previous to our arrival, before which time they had been living on purslane and roots, and several had become insane from hunger.


Number of families in the mines, two-Mr. Schneider’s and Mr. Holtz’s; number of Mexican families living in the mines, about 30, all extremely poor.

All the people seemed to be loyally inclined, although several of them had belonged to the Arizona Rangers, a company formed for the purpose of fighting the Indians in the Territory. The Indians were represented as being extremely hostile and in the habit of committing depredations upon the settlers whenever they had anything to steal. At the time of our visit there were no Indians in the neighborhood, but every one thought that as soon as trains with supplies commenced their trips the Indians would begin to commit depredations. All were extremely anxious to have the Government extend to them sufficient protection and station at least one company in their neighborhood.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. SHIRLAND, Captain, First California Volunteer Cavalry.


[Inclosure D.]

HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, CAMP ON THE RIO GRANDE, ARIZ., Three and a half miles above Fort Thorn, August 8, 1862.

Brig. Gen. E. R. S. CANNY, Comdg. Department of New Mexico, Santa Fé, N. Mex.:

GENERAL: Before arriving at Cooke’s Wells I learned that there was not any water to speak of between that point and El Picacho, on the Rio Grande, 55 miles from Cooke’s Wells and 6 miles above Mesilla. The Rio Grande had divided in the great flood and broken across the country so as to leave the town of Mesilla on an island, difficult of access from the west, and that the facilities for grazing in the neighborhood of Mesilla were bad. This information decided me to strike the Rio Grande at or near Fort Thorn, a distance of not less than 35 miles, nor more than 40, from Cooke’s Wells, but destitute of water the whole way.

I arrived here last evening with two companies of cavalry and one of infantry, having left Cooke’s Wells at 8 a.m. The other detachments-West’s, Willis’, and Rigg’s, a day apart-will reach this point, commencing with West’s, to-morrow evening. I leave to-day for the San Diego Crossing, at the foot of the Jornada, and I shall pass the Rio Grande at that point.

I have this day written to Colonel Howe, that if they have not already left Fort Craig, to go up the river. The Colorado Volunteers can leave at once, agreeably with your Special Orders, No. 128, current series.

I inclose for your information a copy of a rote to Colonel West, First California Volunteer Infantry, in relation to sending some provisions to some destitute men, women, and children at the Pino Alto mines.

If I have authority to occupy posts in the northwestern portion of Texas, i.e., Forts Bliss and -, will you permit me to have my headquarters, say, at Hart’s Mill, on the Rio Grande, some 3 miles above Fort Bliss?

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

NOTE.-My command did not use tents in crossing the desert. I had a few (two to a company) when I left Tucson, but 13 of these were left to shelter the garrison at Fort Bowie, Apache Pass, Chiricahua Mountains. I have sent to Fort Yuma to have all the tents at that post repaired and sent on as soon as possible. Should I need them, can you lend me some?

I left Tucson July 23; stopped one day at the Cienega de Sauz, and four and a half at Ojo de la Vaca, and arrived here on the 7th.

J. H. C.

[Inclosure F.]


Brig. Gen. JAMES H. CARLETON, Commanding Column from California, District of Arizona:

GENERAL: I have just received your interesting communication of the 2d instant and the accompanying papers.


The chief quartermaster, Lieutenant-Colonel Donaldson, has been instructed to send an additional supply of clothing to the depot at Fort Craig to meet your immediate wants. He will communicate with your chief quartermaster in relation to the wants of your command and the supplies that can be furnished from the depots under his charge.

I have directed the chief commissary to place $30,000 subsistence funds in the hands of the commissary at Fort Craig, subject to your order. This course has been adopted in consequence of the insecurity of the mails below Fort Craig. He also will communicate with your commissary in relation to his branch of the service.

The statement of your medical director has been referred to the medical director of the department, who will send to you such medical and hospital supplies as appear to be needed. The medical supplies and ordnance stores in the department will be largely in excess of the wants of the troops, and as both classes are liable to deterioration, it will be advisable to exhaust those on hand before drawing again from the east or the Pacific coast. If you have not already ordered these supplies from Fort Yuma, please make your requisitions upon the depots in this department.

The depot at Fort Craig will be subject to requisitions, and any supplies that are not there now will be sent there as soon as advised that you need them. A part of the supplies will be late in reaching that point, having been detained by the commander of the Department of Kansas until he could provide an escort for them, and subsequently delayed by the unusual floods in the Arkansas.

I have heretofore recommended that all posts in Arizona west of the Rio Grande should be supplied by the way of the Gulf of California and Guaymas. From the information contained in your letter the cost of transportation from Guaymas to points on the Rio Grande below Fort Craig will be about the same as to the depot at Fort Union.

One of the paymasters in this department has been ordered to the East for the purpose of renewing his bond and the commission of another has expired, leaving but one for the payments now in progress. Another is expected by the next mail from the East, and as soon after he arrives as possible arrangements will be made for the payment of your command.

The wants of your men in tobacco and sutler’s stores will be made known to the merchants in this city, who will no doubt be very glad of the opportunity of supplying them.

General Wright has given a more extended application to War Department General Orders, No. 29, than I have understood it to warrant. That, however, is of no material consequence. We are here in the same cause and for a common purpose, and nothing shall be wanting on my part to insure the harmony of action which is essential to efficiency, and I feel assured from your character that I may count upon your co-operation in everything that has for its object the advancement of the honor and interest of our country.

Please communicate with me freely, and be assured that whatever I can do, either officially or personally, to advance the interests or add to the comforts of your command will be done with the greatest pleasure.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Brigadier-General, Commanding Department.


[Inclosure No. O.]


Brig. Gen. JAMES H. CARLETON, Commanding Column from California, District of Arizona:

GENERAL: At an early period of last year I reported that an invasion of Texas from New Mexico, although practicable, was not a practicable undertaking; the length of the march, the desert character of the country to be traversed, the scarcity of supplies on the route the necessity of bringing from the Missouri River or from the Pacific coast every article of equipment and munition and much of the food, all conspired to make it an undertaking of great magnitude and of questionable value; and that the troops that would be required for the expedition could be more usefully employed at points that are not only near the sources of supply but near the points to be attacked. The same views appeared to have been entertained at the Headquarters of the Army, as before my report could have reached Washington I received instructions to withdraw first a part and afterward the whole of the regular force then in New Mexico. These last instructions were subsequently so modified as to direct the withdrawal of these troops “at such time and in such manner as would not expose the Territory to conquest or invasion before the volunteer troops of New Mexico are properly organized, armed, and posted.”

At a later period I reported that it would be difficult, if not impracticable, to raise the additional force authorized for this Territory; nor do I think it desirable that it should be done if it is practicable to send one or two volunteer regiments from the East to replace the regular troops when they are withdrawn. The New Mexican Volunteers, unless supported by regular troops or by volunteers drawn from some other section of the country, cannot be relied on to resist invasion of the Territory if one is attempted.

When a force from the Department of the Mississippi was under orders for this department I received instructions from the Secretary of War to disband the New Mexican Volunteers whenever I thought proper. The force from the Department of the Mississippi was subsequently diverted from its destination, and soon after information was received that your command was on the march. I have coupled these changes with the instructions for the movement of the regular troops, and supposed that your command was intended for service in New Mexico. Acting upon this supposition, I have reported that “the near approach of General Carleton’s force justifies the opinion that the regular troops may now be withdrawn, as originally intended, without detriment to the service,” and have already made some arrangements for the movement; but as there have been some material changes since these instructions were given, I do not intend to put any of the regular troops beyond the reach of recall until I receive further instructions. I have been thus particular, not only for the purpose of answering your question, but to indicate the policy and instructions under which I have been acting, and which I suppose will devolve upon you when the regular troops leave the country.

In the arrangements that were made for the reoccupation of Arizona it was my intention to restore the sovereignty of the United States in its original integrity, post the troops so as to protect the inhabitants and guard against invasion, and, in addition, to occupy such points in Texas as could be reached without throwing the troops so employed {p.575} beyond the reach of support. This has been directed in general terms in the instructions given to the commander of the Southern Military District, and who would also have been the commander of the expedition organized for that purpose. Copies of these instructions have already been furnished you. The retreat of the rebels and the approach of your command rendered it unnecessary to send this force below the Jornada, and, with the exception of the infantry battalion and the cavalry force with Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre, it has been recalled. The detachments will also be recalled, but the movement will not be commenced until your arrangements are so far perfected that it can be done without inconvenience.

I do not think that an invasion of New Mexico will again be attempted by the Rio Grande; but if our troops in the Southwest should meet with any serious reverses, it may be by the Canadian or attempts may be made to interrupt our communications with the East. This last I have regarded as the most probable danger, and some time since requested the commander of the Department of Kansas to place a sufficient force on that line (within his department) to secure it. The renewal of the disturbances in Missouri has prevented this, and I am now putting some of the Colorado troops on the line.

If there should be no change in the order for the removal of the regular troops a part of your command will probably be needed at and above Fort Craig. I have estimated the force required at that post and the Rio Grande as far as Fort Bliss at 2,000 men. I infer from your letter of May 3 that you can readily be re-enforced from California, and there is no doubt that troops can better be spared from that State than from any other quarter. I make these suggestions now for your consideration, and will be pleased to hear from you in relation to them before any general movement of the regular troops takes place.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Brigadier-General, Commanding Department.

[Inclosure H.]


Brig. Gen. JAMES H. CARLETON, Commanding Column from California, District of Arizona:

GENERAL: I have just received your communication of the 8th instant. It is my wish that you should exercise your own judgment both with regard to the distribution of your troops and the point at which your headquarters will be established. My instructions to Colonel Chivington of June 22 and subsequent dates were predicated upon the supposition that he would meet with some resistance, and were more in detail than I should have considered necessary with an officer of more experience.

In my letter of yesterday I gave the general tenor of my instructions, in order that you might use your discretion in carrying out the policy of the Government with reference to this department. Directions will be given to send tents to Fort Craig for the use of your command, and I trust that you will not hesitate in asking for anything that will add to the comfort of your command. If not already at Fort Craig, it will be sent there, and if not now in abundance, we will share what we have, and renew our supplies when the trains come in. It will probably be {p.576} necessary for a time to send your own transportation to Fort Craig for any supplies that you may need from that place.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Brigadier-General, Commanding Department.

[Inclosure I.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARIZONA, Las Cruces, N. Mex., August 15, 1862.

Brig. Gen. E. R. S. CANNY, Commanding Department of New Mexico, Santa Fé, N. Mex.:

GENERAL: I wrote to you a letter from Ojo de la Vaca on the 2d instant advising you of the strength of the forces under my command then en route to the Rio Grande. Since then I have not received any letters from your headquarters advising me of the receipt of that communication. The inclosed general orders (Nos. 14 and 15, from these headquarters) will give you an idea of the, force stationed at Mesilla. In Las Cruces there are four companies of the Fifth U. S. Infantry; at Fort Fillmore there are Shinn’s light battery, Third U. S. Artillery; Companies A and E, First California Volunteer Infantry; Company B, Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, and Companies B and D, First California Volunteer Cavalry, and Company B, Second California Volunteer Cavalry. I placed all the cavalry and nearly all the quartermaster’s wagons and teams at Fort Fillmore on account of the good grazing in that vicinity and the abundance of mesquite beans now in that neighborhood, which for the present precludes the necessity of purchasing much forage. As there are sufficient quarters at La Mesilla for the four companies of the Fifth U. S. Infantry I shall establish them in that town, unless otherwise directed by yourself; at least for the present. The emulation which will naturally spring up between them and the volunteers, as to who shall best perform their duties, will, in my opinion, be of great service to both; besides, there is a fine building there, where the supplies-quartermaster’s and subsistence-can be kept free of expense, and the town of Mesilla is said to be a cooler and healthier locality than Las Cruces. Colonel Howe wrote to me desiring that I would send these four companies to Fort Craig, but this I do not feel authorized to do unless you order it.

Mr. Woods, the beef contractor, wrote me a note in relation to furnishing beef for my command. It is herewith inclosed,* together with my reply. I hope my decision in this case will meet with your approval. I have not yet learned officially whether Mr. Woods will or not supply beef for only the four companies of regulars; I have heard that he would not.

To-morrow I leave for Fort Bliss, in Texas, with Companies B, of the First, and B, of the Second, California Volunteer Cavalry. Company C, First California Volunteer Cavalry, is already at Hart’s Mill, as you had doubtless heard previous to my arrival. There are many matters of moment which require my attention, as I have heard, in the neighborhood of Fort Bliss.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* Not found.


[Inclosure K.]


HDQRS. COL. FROM CAL., CAMP ON RIO GRANDE, Near Fort Quitman, Tex., August 22, 1862.

I. At 12 m. to-day Capt. John C. Cremony, with his company (B, of the Second California Volunteer Cavalry), will proceed to Fort Quitman and hoist over it the national colors, the old Stars and Stripes. By this act still another post comes under its rightful flag and once more becomes consecrated to the United States.

II. Capt. Edmond D. Shirland, First California Volunteer Cavalry, will proceed without delay, yet by easy marches, to Fort Davis, Tex., and hoist over that post the national colors. If Captain Shirland finds any sick or wounded soldiers there he will make them prisoners of war, but put them upon their parole and let them proceed without delay to Texas. If they are unable to travel, Captain Shirland will report to these headquarters by express what they need in the way of surgical or medical attention; what they need in the way of food or transportation, and all other essential facts connected with them which it may be necessary to have known to have them properly cared for. If the fort is abandoned, Captain Shirland will retrace his steps and report in person to these headquarters.

III. Twenty effective men will be ordered from Company B, First California Volunteer Cavalry, to report to Captain Shirland for detached service to Fort Davis, Tex.

By order of Brigadier-General Carleton:

BEN. C. CUTLER, First Lieut., First Cal. Vol. Infantry, A. A. A. G.

[Enclosure L.]

CAMP ON RIO GRANDE, September 2, 1862.

Lieut. BENJ. C. CUTLER, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Franklin, Tex.:

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to state that, in pursuance to instructions received from General James H. Carleton, commanding Column from California, I left this camp at 3 p.m. August 23 en route to Fort Davis. Encamped at 8 o’clock the same evening, having marched 15 miles.

Started at daybreak of the 24th and arrived at Eagle Springs at 9.30 a.m., 17 miles; found the springs filled with rubbish and carrion; by cleaning them out found water for men and animals. There being no grass in the vicinity, I left the springs at 4 p.m.; marched about 5 miles and made a dry camp; grass abundant and good.

Started at daybreak and marched 20 miles to Van Horn’s Wells; found these wells entirely filled up; cleared out one of them, but found it impossible to obtain sufficient water for the men. Many of the horses being unfit to proceed farther, I thought it best to go on from here with 20 men and picked horses, taking the ambulance with me. Accordingly I directed Lieutenant Haden to retrace his steps to Eagle Springs with the remainder of the detachment, to clean out the springs thoroughly, and to remain there eight days, unless he received other orders from me. If at the expiration of eight days I should not-have returned or sent back an express, I directed him to return to the river and wait for me there two days and then proceed up the river and report to General Carleton.


I left Van Horn’s Wells at about 4 p.m. and arrived at Dead Man’s Hole at about 2 a.m.; found sufficient water there for the animals, but not enough for a company; distance 35 miles.

Started at 6.30 a.m. and arrived at Barrel Springs at 3 p.m., having halted on the road to graze the animals. Found water enough at these springs for one company. Remained here that night, and on the next afternoon sent forward Corporal Bartlett, with one private and the Mexican guide, to find out the condition of affairs at Fort Davis distant 18 miles. They returned about noon the next day, having performed their duty in such a manner that if the fort had been occupied by the Confederate States troops their (Corporal Bartlett and party) presence could not have been discovered. They reported the tort unoccupied, and I, thinking it best not to send back for the company on account of the scarcity of water, proceeded to the fort. I found it entirely deserted, but in one of the buildings of the Overland Mail Company I found the dead body of a man lying on the floor. He had been shot through the body with a bullet and had an arrow wound on the head and one on the arm. From the appearance of the room I think that it had been used by the Confederate troops as a hospital, and this man left there sick and afterward killed by the Indians. I had the body buried. The fort appears to have been garrisoned by the Confederate States troops since their first appearance in the country by at least a portion of one company. It also seemed to have been used as a rendezvous for sick soldiers, but they had all left with the last detachment for San Antonio.

The following is a description of the buildings at the fort: Five company quarters, about 80 by 25 feet; one story high; built of stone; thatched roof. Four of these buildings are in fair condition. The roof; doors, and windows of one have been burned. One guard-house, about 80 by 25 feet; building stone; roof; doors, and windows burned. One quartermaster’s store-house, about 100 by 20 feet, built of stone; roof; doors, and windows entirely destroyed; surrounded by several small buildings; use not known. One wooden or slab building, 30 by 16 feet; thatched roof; used as an adjutant’s office. One wooden building, 36 by 27 feet, with kitchen and several small outbuildings; supposed to have been the commanding officer’s quarters. On this building the flag was raised and kept up one day. One wooden building, 48 by 22 feet, with kitchen and outhouses attached; supposed to have been officers’ quarters. One wooden building, 22 by 12 feet, with one small outbuilding, 10 by 14 feet. One wooden building, 36 by 18 feet; one outbuilding, 14 by 12 feet; one slab building, 40 by 15 feet; one slab building, 50 by 14 feet; one slab building, 20 by 12 feet; one slab building, 20 by 12 feet; one slab building, 30 by 15 feet; one outhouse, 10 by 12 feet; seven small slab outhouses; one slab stable, 50 by 14 feet; one stone and mud house; three small slab buildings. These are estimated measurements, as I had no other means of doing. One Overland Mail station, consisting of house, store-house, shop, stable, saddlery, granary, &c.; one adobe building, formerly used as a store. Many of the doors and windows have been destroyed. Some seem to have been hauled off; others burned. One wagon stands loaded with lumber. I have heard a report, in fact, that the entire fort was sold by the Confederate States officers to some party at Del Norte Mexico Property consists of some iron in quartermaster’s store-house, some 100 horseshoes, two old citizen wagons, several wagon and cart wheels, empty barrels, several chains, many hospital bedsteads, but all broken or in a dilapidated condition.


I started from the fort on my return at daylight of the 30th and marched to Dead Man’s Hole; watered the animals, and made a dry camp in the prairie.

Left camp at 9 a.m. and marched about 10 miles, when an Indian made his appearance with a white flag, followed by 5 others, all mounted. I tried to hold a talk with them, but they seemed unwilling to have anything to say, they being followed by 25 or 30 more mounted men, and still farther behind was a large party on foot, and it being evident that their only intention was to gain time and delay us until they could surround us, coming towards us in every direction, a large proportion of them mounted. Wishing to get rid of the footmen, I made a running fight of it, expecting the mounted men to follow, which they did for a short distance; but finding it too hot for them, they returned. They left 4 men dead on the field, 2 of them the leaders, respectively, of the mounted and footmen. I have good reason to believe that at least 20 were wounded. I had 2 men wounded, 1 slightly and 1 painfully, by a pistol-ball in the shoulder. I had also 1 horse wounded.

I then came on to Eagle Springs, where I arrived at 11 p.m., watered all my animals, and found that Lieutenant Haden, with the remainder of the command, had left for the river several days before. Encamped for the remainder of the night, and on the next day proceeded to the river, arriving there about 5 p.m., and found Lieutenant Haden, with the remainder of the command, he stating that he could not find sufficient water at Eagle Springs for the use of the animals.

I omitted in the foregoing report to state that about 10 miles from Van Horn’s Wells I met two Mexicans coming this way. I arrested them and brought them to this camp, where I released them, and they went on up the river and will report to General Carleton in person.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. SHIRLAND, Captain Company C, First California Volunteer Cavalry.

[Inclosure M.]


To the ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Washington, D. C.:

General Carleton’s force in the Mesilla will be less by 700 men than is stated in my report of the 6th. He reports that he can be followed by another regiment of infantry or more. I recommend that one regiment of infantry and five companies of cavalry be ordered from California. The regular troops can be ready to leave as soon as the answer to my report of the 6th is received, or earlier if I find it safe to move them.

ED. R. S. CANBY, Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure N.]


Brig. Gen. JAMES H. CARLETON, Commanding District of Arizona, Fort Bliss, Tex.:

GENERAL: The commanding general desires that you will arrange the affairs of your district so that the command may be turned over to {p.580} the officer next in rank as soon as practicable, and hold yourself in readiness to repair to the headquarters of the department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GURDEN CHAPIN, Captain, Seventh U. S. Infantry, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

[Inclosure No. O.]


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, Santa Fé, N. Mex., August 26, 1862.

Brig. Gen. James H. Carleton, U. S. Army, will repair without delay to Santa Fé, for the purpose of relieving Brigadier-General Canby in the command of the Department of New Mexico.

By order of Brigadier-General Canby:

GURDEN CHAPIN, Captain, Seventh U. S. Infantry, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

[Inclosure P.]


HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARIZONA, Franklin, Tex.,August 27, 1862.


H. Captain Roberts’ company (B, First California Volunteer Infantry) and Captain Pishon’s company (D, First California Volunteer Cavalry) will be ordered by Colonel West to proceed without delay to Franklin, Tex., where Captain Roberts’ company will take post, and whence Captain Pishon’s company will march to Fort Stockton, in Texas, as a guard to some prisoners of the Confederate Army who are to be sent to Texas on parole.

Each of these companies will be rationed from the depot at Mesilla to include the 30th proximo. Besides these rations Colonel West will send, escorted by Roberts’ company, 6,000 rations of subsistence stores from the Mesilla depot to Franklin, Tex.

By order of Brigadier-General Carleton:

BEN. C. CUTLER, First Lieutenant, First Cal. Vol. Infantry, A. A. A. G.

[Inclosure Q.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARIZONA, Franklin, Tex., September 1, 1862.


SIR: I found on my arrival here some 20-odd sick and wounded soldiers of the Confederate States Army, whom I was ordered by General Canby, commanding the Department of New Mexico, to make prisoners of war. These men, at their earnest solicitation, I sent to San Antonio on their parole. They have been furnished with rations of subsistence for forty days and with such medicines and hospital stores as were necessary for them for the road. I have also furnished two wagons for the transportation of those who are unable to walk, and I have sent an escort of 1 lieutenant and 25 rank and file of the First California Volunteer Cavalry to guard them from attack by Mexicans or Indians until a sufficient force from your army is met, to whom they may be transferred, or until they reach some point near San Antonio, where from thence onward they can travel with safety. From that point the lieutenant is ordered to return with his party and all {p.581} the means of transportation belonging to the United States with which lie is intrusted for the use of his escort and benefit of these prisoners.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure R.]


HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARIZONA, Las Cruces, N. Mex., September 5, 1862.

I. Maj. Theodore A. Coult, Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, will proceed without delay to Tucson, and relieve Maj. David Ferguson, First California Volunteer Cavalry, in the command of the District of Western Arizona.

II. Maj. David Ferguson, First California Volunteer Cavalry, is hereby relieved from duty as chief commissary of the Column from California, and will immediately transfer all funds, property, records, &c., pertaining to the subsistence department to Capt. Nicholas S. Davis, First California Volunteer Infantry, who is hereby appointed acting chief commissary of the Column from California. Having done this, Major Ferguson will proceed, via Arivaca and Altar or Cubero, without delay, to a point at or near Lobos Bay, on the Gulf of California, known as Libertad, and examine the intermediate country, with a view to the transportation of supplies. He will ascertain the resources of the country on this route; also the availability of Lobos Bay as a port where the military supplies destined for Arizona maybe landed. Major Ferguson will then repair in person to the headquarters District of Arizona, and make a report of his examination of the Port Lobos route to the general commanding the Column from California. As soon thereafter as practicable Major Ferguson will assume command of his regiment, the First California Volunteer Cavalry.

III. Capt. Nicholas S. Davis, chief of transportation of the Column from California, will discharge all mechanics from Government employment at Tucson, except such as may be necessary to keep the train that plies to Fort Yuma in repairs. This train and any other quartermaster’s property in Western Arizona for which he is responsible may, if the exigencies of the service so require it, be transferred by Captain Davis to the depot quartermaster at Tucson. Captain Davis and Lieutenant Lysander E. Hanson, First California Volunteer Infantry, with Mr. George C. Alexander, clerk to the chief commissary of the Column from California, will report by the first opportunity to the commander of the District of Arizona.

IV. Surg. John H. Prentiss. First California Volunteer Cavalry, will relieve Surgeon McNulty as medical purveyor of the District of Arizona, and will receipt for the medical supplies appertaining to the same.

V. Estimates for medical supplies and ammunition required at Fort Bowie and Tucson will be made upon the proper officers at the headquarters of the District of Arizona.

VI. Brigadier-General Carleton having been ordered to Santa Fé, to relieve Brigadier-General Canby, in the command of the Department of New Mexico, he hereby relinquishes the command of the District of Arizona to Col. Joseph R. West, First California Volunteer Infantry. Brigadier-General Carleton still retains the command of the Column from California, and his staff-Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen. Benjamin C. Cutler, Surg. James M. McNulty, Lieutenant-Colonel Eyre, chief quartermaster, and Lieut. Joseph F. Bennett, acting assistant adjutant-general-will accompany him to Santa Fé, starting to-day.


VII. The District of Arizona comprises the Territory of Arizona and that portion of New Mexico which lies south of an east and west line drawn through Fort Thorn and also Northwestern Texas. The executive powers assumed by Brigadier-General Carleton in his proclamation, dated at Tucson, June 8, 1862, will, until further orders, be retained by that officer.

By order of Brigadier-General Carleton:

BEN. C. CUTLER, First Lieutenant, First Cal. Vol. Infantry, A. A. A. G.

[Inclosure S.]


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, Santa Fé, N. Mex., September 18, 1862.

The undersigned hereby relinquishes the command of this department to Brig. Gen. J. H. Carleton, and is gratified in announcing as his successor an officer whose character, services, and experience in this country entitle him to the confidence of the people of New Mexico.

In taking leave of the troops he has for some time had the honor to command he desires to leave with them the assurance of his high respect and admiration and his best wishes for their happiness and advancement.

ED. R. S. CANBY, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.

[Inclosure T.]


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, Santa Fé, N. Mex., September 18, 1862.

I. The undersigned hereby assumes command of the Department of New Mexico.

II. The following staff officers are announced: First Lieut. Ben. C. Cutler, First California Infantry, acting assistant adjutant-general; Maj. Henry D. Wallen, Seventh U. S. Infantry, acting inspector-general; Capt. A. W. Evans, Sixth U. S. Cavalry, acting assistant inspector-general; Capt. John C. McFerran, U. S. Army, chief quartermaster; Capt. A. F. Garrison, U. S. Volunteers, chief commissary of subsistence; Surg. E. I. Baily, U. S. Army, medical director. Surg. James M. McNulty, of the First California Volunteer Infantry, in addition to his duties as medical director of the Column from California, is assigned to duty as acting medical inspector of the Department of New Mexico, and will be governed in the performance of these duties by such instructions as he may receive from these headquarters. Maj. William J. Martin, U. S. Army, chief paymaster. Capt. William H. Rossell, Tenth U. S. Infantry, will continue to perform the duties of disbursing officer of the fund for collecting, drilling, and organizing volunteers. Capt. William R. Shoemaker, military store-keeper of ordnance, will perform the duties of chief of ordnance at Fort Union.

III. The orderly hours at department headquarters will be from 9 to 10 a.m. for chiefs of staff departments and officers on duty, and from 11 a.m. to 12 m. for citizens on business.

IV. All orders and instructions from headquarters Department of New Mexico, unless hereafter modified or repealed, will remain in full force; and particular attention is directed to department General Orders, No. 62, of July 7, 1862; its requirements will be strictly observed.

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Comdg. Department.


[Inclosure U.]

HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Jornada del Muerto, N. Mex., September 8, 1862.

Col. JOSEPH R. WEST, Commanding District of Arizona, Mesilla, Ariz.:

COLONEL: I met this morning some paroled prisoners of war. I have heard there are 93 of them. They are on their way to Texas. Surgeon Covey, of the C. S. Army, who goes with them, informs me that they have some arms belonging to the United States, with which to defend themselves en route to San Antonio. Give orders so that Lieutenant French, First California Cavalry, whom I sent towards Texas with other prisoners, may bring these arms and this transportation back, escorted by his men. I hive not received one word of instruction in relation to these prisoners, and know nothing about them except what I gleaned from orders in Lieutenant Bennett’s possession and from what Surgeon Covey told me. Having these arms they will need no escort from you, and it will not be well to have our men and animals broken down without good cause. Keep them moving. Have no delays at Fillmore. Let them camp down near, but not at, the grazing camp. Do not let them delay at all at Franklin. If care is taken the brigands and others in El Paso will attempt to communicate with them and may be caught. Surgeon Covey should not know the full extent of our force now en route from California.


Be sure and have Wagon-master Veck report at Peralta with 15 wagons and the ambulance and team and driver which went below with me (Truett’s).

Assistant Wagon-master Francis will be placed in charge of the train of 25 wagons which are to go to Tucson. No soldier teamster will go with that train, and no man who is mustered as teamster who does not drive a team; nor will any such men be permitted to remain with any train, whether in camp or on the road. All such men will at once be provided with teams, and a like number of soldiers be relieved from extra duty. I desire that you will see that this rule goes into effect at once. Should a teamster become sick in camp or on the road, his place will be supplied temporarily by a soldier. It follows, therefore, that there will not be a single man mustered as teamster who does not drive a team, nor will any extra man be allowed as a cook for the teamsters. They must cook for themselves. If you can swoop up other people about you who had better travel to Texas, now is a good opportunity to send them to that country.

You must discharge every civil employé whose services are not indispensably necessary.

Please make me a report of the amount of provisions you have on hand and the number of troops, &c., to be rationed, as soon as the Texans have gone.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

NOTE.-Ask Colonel Bowie to do me the favor to release and send to California a political prisoner named J. S. Bratton on his taking the oath of allegiance.

J. H. C.


[Enclosure V. ]

HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Fort Craig, N. Mex., September 9, 1862.

Col. JOSEPH R. WEST, Commanding District of Arizona, Mesilla, Ariz.:

COLONEL: Captain Archer, commissary of subsistence at this post, informs me that he sent $5,000 subsistence funds to Lieutenant Baldwin at the time the Confederate prisoners went below a few days since. This must be transferred to your depot commissary or be disbursed under your direction. He informs me that he can send, on your estimate (dated September 1, 1862), for $19,986.66, $10,000 in drafts on the assistant treasurer in New York. The remainder will be sent to you as soon as Captain Garrison gives him further authority to make additional drafts. I have placed in his hands your estimates for stores, for expenditures, veterinary tools, and horse medicines, carpenter’s tools, stationery, miscellaneous tools, and for blank forms, and asked him to fill them as far as he can and send them on to me, to be completed at other depots when Veck comes up. The articles from Fort Craig will be sent down on the train which came up with me.


Your arrangement about sending Swilling as an expressman is a good one, and I have given Colonel Steen a memorandum of it, and will endeavor to have the time so fixed for other expressmen that there will be no delay in the transmittal of letters up and down the river.

Please give Azbon C. Marcy, who took the oath of allegiance to Colonel Eyre, a free pass to California.

I inclose herewith a list of the quartermaster’s property on hand at this post. I have asked Captain Archer to send one also of the subsistence stores, which will embrace many things received to-day.


Whatever you want to make your command efficient you shall have. Only bear in mind not to get a thing you do not need. I wish to accumulate but little of public stores below the Jornada.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure W.]

HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Albuquerque, N. Mex., September 14, 1862.

Col. JOSEPH R. WEST, First Cal. Vol. Infantry, Comdg. Dist. of Arizona:

COLONEL: By the same express which carries this letter you will receive an order from department headquarters, directing you to send troops to Fort Craig to relieve the garrison now at that post. The general commanding directs that you send for this purpose Lieut. Col. Edwin A. Rigg, First California Volunteer Infantry, with about 200 rank and file, so selected as not to take from your command more than three companies.

Captain Fritz, First California Volunteer Cavalry, will proceed to Tucson, as previously directed, with 25 wagons. If Wagon-master Veck has not already started for Peralta with 15 wagons, as directed, the general commanding orders that his train be increased to 35 wagons. {p.585} If he has already started, send 20 additional wagons when Colonel Rigg goes to Fort Craig. Wagon-master Francis will go with Cap-tam Fritz to Tucson, and Winston will remain with the rest of the wagons.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BEN. C. CUTLER, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure X.]

HEADQUARTERS COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA, Albuquerque, N. Mex., September 14, 1862.

Col. JOSEPH R. WEST, Comdg. Dist. of Arizona, Mesilla, Ariz.:

COLONEL: It is presumed, from advices lately received from Maj. David Ferguson, First California Volunteer Cavalry, commanding District of Western Arizona, that about 1,000 head of cattle will shortly be at Tucson en route to the Rio Grande for the use of the Column from California. The general commanding directs that you give to the commanding officer at Tucson such detailed instructions as will insure the arrival in this valley of these cattle at an early day. After deducting a sufficient number for the use of the troops in the District of Western Arizona, the cattle should be sent forward in small herds, so that too many may not arrive at the watering places at any one time-say, one portion with Greene’s company and another with Wellman’s cavalry and so on.

The general commanding directs that you arrest one Manuel Barella, a brother of Anastacio Barella, of Mesilla, and send him up the country as far as Fort Craig.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BEN. C. CUTLER, First Lieutenant, First Cal. Vol. Infantry, A. A.

A. G.

[Inclosure Z.]


HDQRS. COLUMN FROM CALIFORNIA. Santa Fé, N. Mex., September 17, 1862.


II. Lieut. Col. Edward E. Eyre, First California Volunteer Cavalry, will proceed without delay to San Francisco, Cal., as bearer of dispatches to the commander of the Department of the Pacific, in accordance with Special Orders, No. 148, from Headquarters Department of New Mexico, dated August 22, 1862. Having performed this duty, he will rejoin his regiment at the earliest practicable moment.

By order of Brigadier-General Carleton:

BEN. C. CUTLER, First Lieutenant, First Cal. Vol. Infantry, A. A. A. G.


No. 2.

Reports of Lieut. Col. Edward B. Eyre, First California Cavalry.


LIEUTENANT: In compliance with orders received from the colonel commanding, dated June 17, 1862, I have the honor to make the following report:


June 21, left Tucson at 3 a.m. with Captain Fritz, Lieutenants Haden and Baldwin, First California Volunteer Cavalry, and 140 men; marched 35 miles to Cienega de los Pinos, and encamped at 12.30 p.m.; water and grazing abundant. The road to-day is very good, with the exception of two or three hills. At a distance of about 28 miles the road descends into the cienega, then 7 miles to water near the burned station, which stood on the hill to the right of the road. Course, southeast; 35 miles.

June 22, left Cienega at 6 a.m.; marched over a high, rolling country, but good wagon road, and splendid grazing all the way for a distance of about 22 miles, when the road descends through a canon for 1 mile, and then opens on the San-Pedro Valley. Two miles farther the river is reached at the Overland Mail Station; strong bridge over the river; water and grass abundant; wood very scarce. Course, northeast; 25 miles. There found the name of Jones, the expressman.

June 23, left camp at crossing of the San Pedro at 7.30 a.m. The road at once leaves the river and enters a valley about 1 mile wide and 4 miles long, when it terminates at the foot of the mesa, which is gained through a narrow cañon, in which is a long but not very steep hill. The cañon is about 1 1/2 miles, when the top of the mesa is reached; then about 14 miles to Overland Mail Station at Dragoon Spring, at which place we arrived at 12.30 p.m. and encamped; found water sufficient, by digging, up the cañon 2 miles, the trail to which is difficult in some places to lead animals over. Course, northeast; 19 1/2 miles.

June 24, left Dragoon Spring at 10.30 a.m.; was detained in consequence of scarcity of water. Marched 25 miles over an excellent road to Ewell’s Station, arriving there at 5.30 p.m.; sent Captain Fritz and 6 men with spades to examine the spring in the mountain north of station. He had returned to station by the time the command arrived and reported only enough water for the men. Encamped at 6 p.m. Course, northeast; 25 miles.

June 25, left Ewell’s Station at 1 a.m.; marched 15 miles over a very hilly and in places a very rocky road to station in Apache Pass, and encamped at 6 a.m.; water scarce; no grass. Course, northeast; 15 miles.

About 12 m.-I being engaged at the spring superintending the watering of animals, it being necessary to dip it with tin cups-four shots were heard in the vicinity of where the horses that had been watered were being grazed under a strong guard. Immediately thereafter it was reported that Indians were in sight and that the guard had fired to give the alarm. Almost immediately thereafter it was reported to me that the Indians were waving a white flag. I at once started for them, taking with me a white flag, and Mr. Newcomb, as interpreter. At the end of about one hour I succeeded in getting sufficiently near one of them to be understood. I explained to him what I desired and asked for the chief. At this time at least 75 to 100 Indians were in sight, many of them mounted on good-looking horses and all of them armed with fire-arms, some with rifles and six-shooting pistols. Of the latter I observed a great number and occasionally single-barreled shotguns. When the chief came forward I told him we were Americans, and that our Great Captain lived at Washington; that we wished to be friends of the Apaches; that at present I was only traveling through their country, and desired he would not interfere with my men or animals; that a great captain was at Tucson with a large number of soldiers; that he wished to have a talk with all the Apache chiefs and to make peace with them and make them presents. He professed a great {p.587} desire to be friendly with the Americans, and assured me that neither my men nor animals should be molested. He asked for tobacco and something to eat. I gave him all that could possibly be spared, and we parted, with a request on his part that I would meet him at the same place at sunset. On my return it was reported to me that 3 of the men were missing. A party of 30 were at once sent out in the vicinity of where the firing was heard, and after an hour’s search the bodies of the missing men were found stripped of all their clothing and two of them scalped. Each was shot through the chest with fire-arms and lanced through the neck. They were victims to their own imprudence, the entire command having been repeatedly warned by me not to wander from camp. It appears they had started, leading their horses from the spring where the watering was being done, over the ridge into another gulch, when they came on the Indians and were murdered. The Indians succeeded in getting one horse. When the bodies of our murdered men were found instant pursuit of the Indians was made, some of whom were seen on a hill half a mile distant; but being unable to come up with them a return to camp was ordered, carrying in the dead bodies, which were buried, the entire command being present. The animals now being all watered, or as much as could be obtained for them, and there being very little grass in the pass, at 6 p.m. left camp; marched out and made a dry camp on the plain 2 miles beyond the cañon. Course, east by northeast; 4 miles.

At 11 p.m. a volley of six or eight shots was fired into camp, wounding Acting Assistant Surgeon Kittredge in the head and killing one horse at the picket line.

June 26, left Dry Camp No. 1 at 3.30 a.m.; marched 15 miles over an excellent road to San Simon Station, then turned square to the right and marched 13 miles up the dry bed of the river to a large cienega and encamped at 2 p.m. Course, east, northeast, and southeast; 28 miles. This is a splendid camping place-water and grass in the greatest abundance. The proper road to the cienega turns to the right from the stage road about 6 miles from Apache Pass and around the point of the mountain. It comes on the San Simon 1 mile below the water.

At 12, midnight, camp was alarmed by a shot fired by one of the guard. On examination it was found to be a coyote, which he mistook in the dark for an Indian crawling through the scattered bushes, but which he instantly killed. This was a very hard day’s march on men and animals, being obliged to leave Dry Camp without breakfast owing to the scarcity of water, having but eight five-gallon kegs in which to carry water for the men, and not being able to get at the pass as much water as the animals required.

June 27, laid over.

June 28, left camp at Cienega of San Simon at 4 p.m.; marched 5 miles north-northeast to the pass in the mountains; road heavy. On arriving at the pass, found the road through it very good and the pass wide. Marched 15 miles from San Simon, and made Dry Camp No. 2 at 10.15 p.m. Course, north-northeast; 15 miles.

June 29, left Dry Camp at 4 a.m.; marched 9 miles to Lightendorffer’s Well, in Round Mountain Cañon; good road; well on right of and close to the road. It is about 8 feet square and 7 feet deep; rock bottom. Halted at well one hour and obtained a very limited supply of water for my command. This is a tolerably good camping place for three companies of infantry. By care they could obtain sufficient water, which is good. Loft Lightendorffer’s Well at 8 a.m.; marched 22 miles {p.588} to Densmore’s Station (Soldier’s Farewell) and halted at 5 p.m. Discovered here a small spring about 2 or 3 miles up the arroyo, north of station, and a hole of bad water 800 yards south of station. Left Densmore’s Station at 8 p.m.; marched 14 miles to Cow Springs, and encamped at 12, midnight; water and grazing abundant. The road from the Cienega of San Simon to this place is good for loaded teams, excepting 4 or 5 miles to the pass. Course, northeast; 46 miles.

Soon after leaving Densmore’s Station found 2 men on the side of the road under rather suspicious circumstances; took three letters from them, one directed to the commander of Federal forces at Tucson or en route; put the men in charge of guard and brought them back. (Letters herewith inclosed, marked Nos. 1, 2, and 3.*) There discovered 9 men encamped, who proved to be a party sent by Colonel Chivington, commanding Southern Military District of New Mexico, at Fort Craig, with a letter to Colonel Carleton, with verbal orders to deliver it to the commander of the advance of his column when met with, and return to Fort Craig. Read the communication, and returned Mr. Milligan and one of his party with the answer to Fort Craig at 3 p.m. on the 30th instant, at which place he would arrive on the evening of the 2d proximo. Letter of Colonel Chivington and my answer thereto herewith inclosed.* From Mr. Milligan I learned of the capture of Jones, the expressman, by the secessionists at the Picacho, near Mesilla, his two companions having been killed by Indians at Apache Pass and himself chased by them for a great many miles. This information was brought to Fort Craig by a friendly Mexican, who was present at the capture of Jones.

June 30, laid over.

July 1. This morning a number of men were discovered by the lookout approaching from the direction of the Pino Alto gold mines; sent out a party and brought them into camp. They proved to be a party of 30 Mexican miners, returning to Sonora in consequence of the almost total absence of provisions at the mines; all owed them to proceed on their journey. Left Cow Springs at 8 a.m.; arrived at the Rio Miembres at 1 p.m. and encamped 2 miles above station; water and grazing abundant and of the best quality; road good. Course, northeast; 16 miles.

July 2, laid over. At 1 o’clock this morning one of the pickets discovered persons approaching camp. They were arrested and brought in-12 men and 2 women, one a German, the others Mexicans. They also were from the mines en route for Mesilla. Ordered them confined, in order to secure the secrecy of my movements. At 9 a.m. sent out party of 20 men to examine Cooke’s Canon, with orders to arrest, if possible, all persons they may meet with, and remain at Cooke’s Spring until the command came up.

July 3, left Miembres River at 630 a.m.; marched 12 miles over a good road to Cooke’s Pass. From here to summit road hilly. A long, rocky, but not very steep, hill brings you to the top of the pass; from there the descent to the spring is good; distance from pass to spring 6 miles. Course, north-northeast and northeast; 18 miles. There came up with the party sent in advance yesterday; they reported no person in sight and no fresh traces.

July 4, left Cooke’s Spring at 6.30 a.m.; took Fort Thorn road, which keeps a north-northeast course, while the Mesilla road turns to the right immediately at the springs and bears east-northeast, passing the {p.589} Overland Mail Station, which is seen on the hill about half a mile distant. Marched 13 miles to Mule Spring; good road. Here no water could be found even by digging, having sent a party in advance with spades for that purpose. Left Mule Spring at 12 m.; marched 22 miles to the Rio Grande, and encamped at 7 p.m. near Fort Thorn. Course north-northeast and northeast; 35 miles.

The road for about 8 miles after leaving Mule Spring is very good, when it enters a rolling country, the hills becoming more and more abrupt for a distance of about 6 miles, when it descends into a broad cañon, which is followed on a good road to the river. Immediately on making camp the national colors were raised amid the loud and continued cheers of the assembled command. This was the first time the Stars and Stripes floated on the Rio Grande below Fort Craig since the occupation of the country by the Confederate troops, and it being the anniversary of our National Independence, was not calculated to dampen the ardor of the command.

We are now within 35 miles of the enemy, which the prisoners whom I have taken variously estimate from 200 to 800 strong. As soon as the horses have a little recruited (they being considerably reduced on a march of about 300 miles through a broiling sun and over a country utterly destitute of water for distances ranging from 35 to 60 miles) will reconnoiter his position and endeavor to ascertain his strength, which I have but little doubt of accomplishing, and in case he does not greatly outnumber me will give him a fight.

July 5, moved 3 miles down the river to and reoccupied Fort Thorn; 3 miles.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. E. EYRE, Lieut. Col., First California Volunteer Cavalry, Commanding.

Lieut. BENJ. C. CUTLER, A. A. A. G., Column from California, Tucson, Ariz.

* Not found.



LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the reoccupation of Fort Thorn by the squadron of First California Volunteer Cavalry, under my command, on the evening of the 5th instant. Immediately thereafter the national colors were run up and the old flag once more floated-over the garrison.

On the morning of the 6th instant an express arrived from Fort Craig, with a communication from Colonel Chivington, First Colorado Volunteers, commanding Southern Military District of New Mexico, a copy of which is herewith inclosed.* He also sent a communication addressed to Colonel Steele, C. S. Army, empowering me to negotiate an exchange for Captain McCleave and the men who were made prisoners with him. Soon after the express from Colonel Chivington arrived a party of men were seen approaching from the direction of Mesilla. One of them proved to be Captain McCleave, on his way to Fort Craig, bringing with him a proposition from Colonel Steele for an exchange for Captain Gardner, C. S. Army. Having learned from the expressman just arrived that Captain Gardner died a few days since, I {p.590} at once sent Captain Fritz, First California Volunteer Cavalry, to Fort Fillmore, with a request to Colonel Steele to name any other captain General Canby had made prisoner in exchange for Captain McCleave; also proposing an exchange for the men taken with him, as well as an exchange for our expressman (Jones) and a Mr. John Lemon, of Mesilla, who was extremely kind to Captain McCleave during his confinement, and who had horses ready saddled and hid out for Jones’ escape. He was ordered to be hung, and was taken to a tree for that purpose, but after hanging a Mr. Marshall, who was taken out with him, his execution was postponed. Captain Fritz will probably be back tonight, when I will at once send Captain McCleave with a party of 25 men through to Tucson. It is not safe for a less number to travel that road on account of the Indians, and even then with the utmost caution.

If it is the desire of the colonel commanding to keep open communication between Tucson and the Rio Grande I would respectfully recommend that a company of infantry be stationed at Dragoon Spring and two companies at the Apache Pass. That corps would be far more effective against the Indians in the rugged mountains at the points above named than cavalry; besides, horses could not be kept in flesh on the dry grass alone; they would be utterly useless in two weeks’ riding. At this season of the year sufficient water and of a good quality can be obtained for two companies of infantry at the foot of the mountain, four miles north of Ewell’s Station. The spring is prominently marked by a large, white spot on the mountain, which is directly over the water.

The Rio Grande has been unusually high this summer, almost the entire bottom between Fort Craig and Mesilla being still overflowed. It is impossible at this time to approach Mesilla on the west side of the river, a new channel having been washed out on that side of the town, through which the largest portion of the water flows; besides, the bottom for a long distance is overflowed, and, the soil being of a loose nature, animals mire down in attempting to get through it. This morning I sent Captain McCleave with a small party to examine the San Diego Crossing, 18 miles below here, to ascertain if the river can be forded at that point. The moment a crossing can be effected it is my intention, unless otherwise ordered by General Canby, to move on Mesilla and reoccupy Forts Fillmore and Bliss. When that is done that portion of the proclamation of the colonel commanding will not only have been carried out, but the sacred soil of Texas will have been invaded. Captain McCleave reports Colonel Steele with the rear of Sibley’s brigade making hurried exertions to get away from Texas. He is pressing every team, both mule and oxen, he can find into service, compelling the owners (generally Mexicans) to take Confederate scrip in payment therefor. The same mode is resorted to by him in regard to provisions.

Captain Howland, Third U. S. Cavalry, in advance of his squadron, has just arrived; his command (100 men) will probably be here this evening. His horses are in shocking condition. Should we come up with Colonel Steele and a mounted charge be made, it must be done by the squadron of my regiment.

On the capture of Jones greatly-increased exertions were made by Colonel Steele to get away. Mesilla was evacuated, and Captain McCleave, who was at the time on parole to the limits of the town, immediately confined under a strong guard. Mr. White, of the Pima Villages, {p.591} has been released, and will probably be here with the return of Captain Fritz.

The horses are out grazing (under a strong guard) from daybreak until dark, then tied up to the picket line, with as much grass as they can eat during the night. They are doing very well, but have not yet recovered from the effects of the very distressing march from Tucson here.

Captain McCleave has just returned, and reports the road down the river almost impassable for loaded wagons and the river swimming at the crossing.

July 9 [7th?] sent Captain McCleave, with an escort and two wagons, to Fort Craig for supplies.

The squadron of Third U. S. Cavalry (100 strong) arrived and gone into quarters at this post.

Captain Fritz returned this evening, having effected an exchange for Captain McCleave and the others named in my communication to Colonel Steele, a copy* of which is herewith inclosed. Two lieutenants were given in exchange for Captain McCleave, as Colonel Steele affected to know of no captain of theirs for that purpose, although there are a number. His real object was to exchange for officers of his own regiment only.

About 6 o’clock this evening an express arrived from Captain McCleave, informing me of an attack on his party, as they were moving up the river, by the Navajoes, 60 or 70 strong; that he had made camp, but was being surrounded by them. I immediately sent Captain Howland, with Lieutenant Baldwin and 40 men, to his relief.

I forward herewith, for the information of the colonel commanding, all communications* received or written by me since my arrival on the Rio Grande.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. E. EYRE, Lieutenant-Colonel, First Cal. Vol. Cavalry, Comdg.

Lieut. BENJ. C. CUTLER, A. A. A. G., Column from California, Tucson, Ariz.

* Not found.



LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the arrival here on yesterday of another express from General Canby, the second one alluded to in Colonel Chivington’s communication of the 7th instant.


I leave here to-morrow morning with my command for Mesilla. On examination found the road from here to Rough and Ready Station impracticable, and have determined to make a road to the San Diego Crossing, and then pass the river on a raft, which I am now having made for that purpose, and which will be floated down to the crossing. The road on the east side of the river from San Diego to Mesilla is good. It is my determination, unless otherwise ordered, to hoist the national colors over Mesilla and Forts Fillmore and Bliss before the end of the present month.



I neglected in my report of the march to this place to give the names of the men killed by the Indians at Apache Pass. Their names are Privates James F. Keith, Peter Maloney, and Albert Schmidt, of Company B, First California Volunteer Cavalry.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. E. EYRE, Lieutenant-Colonel, First Cal. Vol. Cavalry, Comdg.

Lieut. BENJ. C. CUTLER, A. A. A. G., Column from California, Tucson, Ariz.



Lieut. BENJ. C. CUTLER, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Column from California, Franklin, Tex.:

LIEUTENANT: In compliance with-verbal orders received from the general commanding the column, I have the honor to report that immediately after my arrival on the Rio Grande, July 4, I sent a scouting party down the river as far as the San Diego Crossing, for the double purpose of ascertaining if the enemy had pickets within that distance of my camp, and also whether the high stage of water in the river rendered it impracticable to move my command that far for the purpose of crossing, it being my intention to follow and, if possible, overtake the retreating Texans under Colonel Steele. On their return they reported it impracticable to get to the crossing with wagons, but that the river was falling fast, and that in a short time-say one week-I would be able to accomplish my purpose of moving on Fort Fillmore, where a portion of the Texans were then quartered. I therefore determined to remain at Fort Thorn for a short time longer, to recruit the men and animals and to receive re-enforcements from Fort Craig, which I had asked for from Cow Springs, having sent an express from that point on June 28.

On the 8th ultimo Captain Howland, Third U. S. Cavalry, with 100 men, arrived at Fort Thorn and reported to me for duty. I was now still more anxious to pursue the enemy, being confident of my ability to successfully cope with his disorganized and disheartened troops, although they outnumbered me more than two to one.

On the morning of the 10th ultimo I received a communication from Colonel Chivington, commanding Southern Military District of New Mexico, of which the following is an extract:

You will do all you can to learn the enemy’s strength, position, and purpose, but General Canby does not design an advance from where you are until he can go in force. I am under orders to advance to Santa Barbara or thereabouts with sixteen companies of infantry and a battery of four 6-pounder guns and two 24-pounder howitzers and an additional cavalry force, to support the advance of General Carleton and to co-operate with the forces under him in the reoccupation of the valley of Mesilla.

Although this was not a positive order to remain where I was, yet it intimated too clearly the desire of the district commander to lead the advance on Mesilla and Fort Fillmore, that I felt exceedingly embarrassed as to whether I would be authorized in leaving Fort Thorn until the arrival there of Colonel Chivington; but on consultation with Captains Howland, Tilford, and Fritz I determined, unless more positively ordered, to remain, and to move down to the San Diego Crossing as soon as the water would permit.


Accordingly, on the 13th ultimo, I sent Wagon-master Black, with a party, to the crossing, to ascertain if it was yet practicable to get the train of thirteen wagons to that point. On his return the same day he reported favorably, and on the 15th ultimo I left with my command and arrived at the crossing on the 16th ultimo, a distance of 18 miles. On the 17th ultimo I had succeeded in crossing successfully my command in a small boat, which I caused to be made for that purpose before leaving Fort Thorn.

On the 19th ultimo I received from Lieut. F. Van Vliet, acting assistant adjutant-general, the following communication:

I am instructed by the colonel commanding the district to inform you that your troops will not cross the river until further orders.

This was from Colonel Howe’s acting assistant adjutant-general, he then being in command of the Southern Military District of New Mexico; but having crossed the river before its receipt, and having received supplies from Fort Craig, I determined to push on to Robledo or Doña Aña and there await his further orders, and so wrote him. But on my arrival at the latter place I found neither forage nor grazing for the animals, and pushed on to Las Cruces, where quarters were found for the command in unoccupied houses belonging to notorious secessionists.

On my arrival at Las Cruces I at once made inquiry as to the whereabouts of the Texans, and learned from reliable authority that a portion of them were yet at Franklin, Tex.; that they were collecting at that point a large amount of Government property which had been by them secreted at different places on their march up the river, and that they designed selling it to a citizen of El Paso, Tex. This property I could undoubtedly have taken, and in all probability have captured the Texans then at Franklin, had lat once pushed on to that point; but the strong intimation not to leave Fort Thorn which I received from Colonel Chivington, and the positive order not to cross the river which I received from Colonel Howe, and my letter to him that I would await his further orders at Las Cruces, compelled me to remain at the latter place. Indeed, by moving farther down the river I would have run counter to the expressed wishes of the district commanders of the Southern Military District of New Mexico, if not against their positive orders.

On the 28th ultimo I received a positive order from Colonel Howe not to leave Las Cruces until further orders.

Subsequently, while accompanying the general commanding on his march to Fort Quitman, I learned that Colonel Steele greatly feared he would be overtaken by the California troops, and in his hurried retreat burned a number of his wagons and destroyed a large amount of ammunition. I also learned that so much were his men disheartened and so thoroughly disorganized, that had they been attacked by even a small force they would have at once surrendered. Certainly it is an opportunity would have been given them to do so had it not been for the orders received from Fort Craig, for I should certainly have followed and as certainly overtaken them before they left the river at Fort Quitman.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. E. EYRE, Lieutenant-Colonel, First California Volunteer Cavalry.



No. 3.

Report of Surg. James M. McNulty, U. AS. Army, Acting Medical Inspector.

SANTA FÉ, N. MEX., October -, 1863.

Brig. Gen. W. A. HAMMOND, Surgeon-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Agreeably to the wish conveyed in your letter of July 27, 1863, I send you the following history of that portion of the California Volunteers known as the Column from California.

The march of this column from the Pacific Ocean to the Rio Grande is somewhat remarkable, from the fact that almost the entire distance is a desert waste, with great scarcity of water and that of the worst quality.

Men marching day after day through the burning sands and nearly suffocated with alkali dust required to be made of stern stuff-of such were the men composing this column. Men inured to mountain life in California, pioneers and miners; men self-reliant and enduring; men equal to any emergency, if guided by firm hand and clear head. That they were equal to a great emergency is evinced by the fact that they conquered vast deserts, and accomplished a march not equaled in modern times, traversing a distance of nearly a thousand miles and almost the entire route over a sterile waste.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES M. MCNULTY, Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers, Acting Medical Inspector.

On the 22d of July, 1861, the President of the United States approved “An act to authorize the employment of volunteers to aid in enforcing the laws and protecting public property.” Under this act was raised in California one regiment of infantry and five companies of cavalry. These were called respectively the First Infantry and First Cavalry, California Volunteers. The troops were raised for the protection of the Overland Mail Route between California and the Eastern States, by way of Salt Lake City. The force was placed under the command of Bvt. Maj. James H. Carleton, First U. S. Cavalry, with the rank of colonel. The regiments rendezvoused at Oakland, opposite San Francisco, Cal. During the latter part of August and the month of September they had acquired nearly their full complement of men. Active preparations were making to put the command in the best condition for active field service, and by the 1st of October everything was in readiness for the movement of the troops. About this time the spirit of rebellion became manifest in California. “Treason stalked abroad.” In the southern part of the State an open rupture was apprehended. In consequence of this condition of affairs the command of Colonel Carleton was diverted from its original destination by General Sumner, department commander, and moved to the infected district. About the 1st of October the troops moved down the coast and formed a camp near Los Angeles, called Camp Latham.

On the 14th three companies of the First Cavalry, California Volunteers, under the command of Major Eyre, of the same regiment, were ordered to relieve the regular troops stationed at San Bernardino; This place was the hot-bed of secessionism in California. On the same day orders were received to send three companies of the First Infantry, California {p.595} Volunteers, under the command of Lieut. Col. J. R. West, to relieve the regulars stationed at Fort Yuma. Regular troops stationed at different parts of the State were ordered to rendezvous at two points, viz, San Diego and San Pedro, for the purpose of embarkation, orders having been issued by the War Department that all regular troops on the Pacific coast be sent to the seat of war in the East. Brig. Gen. E. V. Sumner, at that time in command of the Department of the Pacific, was also ordered in. On the departure of General Sumner, Col. George Wright, Ninth U. S. Infantry, assumed command of the department. The Southern District of California was turned over by Colonel Wright to the command of Colonel Carleton.

During the two succeeding months quiet and order were restored throughout the southern part of the State. The distribution of the troops indicated to the disaffected the determination of the authorities to keep California firm and steadfast to the Union.

On the 12th of January Colonel Carleton was summoned to San Francisco, to consult with Colonel Wright in reference to the movement of troops into Utah. About this time rumors reached California that Van Born, of the rebel service, was fitting out an expedition for the invasion of California by way of Arizona. The fact was well-established that Arizona and a portion of New Mexico were occupied by Confederate troops, and it was apparent to all that California was more accessible through Arizona by way of Fort Yuma than any other point. Fort Yuma, located on the Colorado River, on the southeastern line of the State, is our extreme outpost. Surrounded as it is by a vast desert, if once in the possession of an enemy the key to the State was lost.

In view of all these threatened dangers to the State and coast General Wright suggested to the War Department that perhaps the Government would be better served by throwing the California troops into Arizona and driving the rebels from that Territory. A double object would thus be gained; first, an effectual guard would be kept against any invasion of the Pacific coast from that quarter; second, the California troops would fall in the rear of the Confederate forces then in New Mexico and assist the Federal forces in expelling them from that Territory.

The suggestions of General Wright were favorably received by the War Department. The feasibility of the movement was so apparent, that the consent of that Department was at once obtained.

On the receipt of the decision of the War Department authority was granted to Colonel Carleton to organize and fit out the expedition. The Fifth Infantry, California Volunteers, under the command of Col. George W. Bowie; also Company A, Third U. S. Artillery, with a light battery, under command of First Lieut. John B. Shinn, of the U. S. Army, were added to Colonel Carleton’s command; also Captain Cremony’s company, Second Cavalry, California Volunteers.

Active preparations were at once made for the movement of the column. It was important that the troops should move as soon as possible, in order that they might receive the benefit of the cool winter weather while passing over the Gila and Colorado Deserts. The great distance from the Pacific Ocean to the Rio Grande, the entire and complete desolation of nearly the whole route, presented obstacles almost insurmountable to marching a column of over 2,000 men and the same number of animals. It was well known that forage and provisions could be obtained but at two points between Fort Yuma and the Rio Grande in time of peace, and then in limited quantities, viz, at the Pima Villages and at Tucson; and it being well known that the {p.596} enemy occupied one, if not both, of these points, it was necessary that transportation should be made entirely independent of them. The greatest difficulty appeared to be in subsisting animals. Unless this could be done rations could not be furnished the troops, and the expedition would necessarily fall to the ground.

With the commencement of preparations came unlooked-for difficulties. Not for twenty years had a winter of such severity occurred in California. The whole country was flooded; hundreds of horses and cattle mired down in the open plains and were lost. For weeks it was almost impossible to move a vehicle of any kind, and the movement of baggage trains was out of the question.

In the mean time commissary stores and forage were sent by sea to Fort Yuma, making this point a general depot and base of operations.

The troops during this terrible winter lived in tents. As the rain subsided and the ground became more settled the troops were gradually moved toward Fort Yuma by companies of twos and threes. A sub-depot was formed at Oak Grove, near the edge of the Yuma desert, 120 miles from Los Angeles, called Camp Wright. From this point to Fort Yuma, 180 miles, it is a continuous desert, entirely destitute of vegetation; water very scarce, and generally of bad quality. Before moving the troops on this desert Colonel Carleton sent out parties and had the wells cleaned out and new ones dug, in order that every drop of water might be available. Forage for the animals was deposited at different points between Camp Wright and Fort Yuma. The troops were marched across by companies, one day apart. At some of the wells there was so little water that it was necessary to dip it out in a pint cup, thus consuming nearly a whole night in watering 100 animals.

In order that this desert may be more thoroughly understood I quote from the notes of Lieutenant-Colonel West, of the First Infantry, California Volunteers, who marched the first three companies over. The description of the route commences at Oak Grove, Camp Wright, near the edge of the desert:

Left Camp Wright, near Warner’s Ranch, at 7.30 a.m.; marched 5 miles over pleasant rolling roads and well-wooded country to La Puerta at which place found mountain stream, but no place for a camp ground; thence by fair road, without water, to San Felipe, 8 miles; pasturage good, but no wood; water neither overabundant nor good; camp ground inferior.

Left San Felipe at 3.30 a.m. by heavy, hilly roads to Vallecito. Road sandy through bottom land to first hill, 7 miles; thence broken road, 6 miles, a great portion of which is a cañon, with but one wagon track, winding between cliffs. A very small force could oppose an enemy of far superior numbers. The latter part of the road more level. On the left side and about half a mile from the road is a spring, that affords water enough for 50 men; thence a small rugged hill is surmounted and a valley reached, 5 miles in length, by sandy road to Vallecito; water in fair supply; no wood but mesquite bushes; pasturage fair.

Left Vallecito at 3.30 a.m.; marched 9 miles by heavy, sandy road to Palm Springs; water in limited supply, and required to be prepared for a command. The locality can be used for a camp. Thence by a heavy, sandy road to Cariso Creek; no pasturage. The country has now become a complete desert of most forbidding aspect. The creek is a small stream, affording an abundant supply of water of an inferior quality. The bottom land is filled with a stunted growth of mesquite and arrow bushes.

Left Cariso Creek at 11.30 a.m., following the stream and constantly crossing it; road heavy and sandy; thence over a level road, with somewhat improved traveling, 4 miles, to a short, steep hill; thence to a level plain, with desert brush, to Sackett’s Wells. Last part of the road fair traveling; the desert complete; water good, but uncertain; in dry weather it certainly disappears.

Left Sackett’s Wells at 5.45 p.m., through a continuous desert; first 5 miles sandy; thence better traveling to Indian Well.

Indian Well is some 30 feet deep; water good, but in small quantities. Signal {p.597} Mountain is a prominent landmark; bears southwest about 15 miles; reached camp at 11 p.m.; distance, 15 miles. Left at 5 p.m. for New River Station; road a perfect level over an alkali plain, with a few patches of mesquite bushes; road dusty and heavy for wagons; well deep; water scarce and of inferior quality.

Started at 5 p.m. for Alamo; road heavy, over barren flat; there is a well some 30 feet deep, affording some water. Left at 4 p.m. for Gardner’s Wells; no water; 9 miles; thence, by same character of road and country, to Salt or Seven Wells; water plenty, but brackish. Started at 4 p.m., 9 miles, to Cooke’s Wells. First 2 1/2 miles bad road. At Cocke’s Wells water and wood abundant and good; thence, 15 miles, to Pilot Knob. Camped on the bank of the Colorado at foot of mountain. From Cooke’s the road is generally good, through mesquite flat, and latter part through Indian Gardens; distance 25 miles. Started at 1.30 p.m. The road follows the Rio Colorado to Fort Yuma; distance 10 miles; road much broken. Reached Fort Yuma at 4.30 p.m.

I have been thus minute in detail in order that a correct idea may be had of some of the difficulties encountered in marching troops across this desert.

It will be seen that nearly every march was made in the night-time. By starting at 4 or 5 in the afternoon the march would be accomplished before daylight, thus enabling men to sleep a part of the night.

The ground did not become sufficiently settled for the movement of Shinn’s battery until the 13th April. Previous to this nearly all the command had been moved toward Fort Yuma, one company only remaining to accompany the battery. Colonel Carleton arrived at Fort Yuma on the 29th of April. Active preparations were made to move the command eastward without delay. Water-tanks, holding 600 gallons each, were prepared to accompany each detachment. Contracts were made at Fort Yuma to have hay cut and deposited at different points between the fort and the Pima Villages.

It was ascertained that Tucson was still in the hands of the Texans. Their pickets extended down the Rio Gila till within 50 miles of Fort Yuma. Hay deposited at different points by Colonel Carleton’s agents was burned. The Pima Indians are an agricultural people, and cultivate large quantities of wheat. Knowing this fact and the importance of securing as much as possible, Colonel Carleton had for some time been in communication with an American living at these villages. He was directed to purchase all the wheat the Indians had. A considerable quantity was thus accumulated; but before the advance of the column reached that point the Texans had destroyed it all, with the exception of a small quantity the Indians had cached. This was a serious loss, but the growing crops had not been molested, and Colonel Carleton was enabled to secure a considerable amount for his animals. Two companies of infantry and one of cavalry were sent forward toward the Pima and Tucson. As our forces advanced the Texans fell back to Tucson. The command followed them to within a short distance of that place; but not feeling sufficiently strong to attack them, fell back to the Pima. Lieutenant-Colonel West was then ordered forward with four companies of infantry. The following itinerary was made by Lieutenant-Colonel West:

To Gila City, 17 miles; no grass, wood; camp on river; thence to Mission Camp, 11 miles; wood, water, and a little grass; wood, water, and grass 4 miles farther on. From Mission Creek to Fillibuster is 6 miles; thence to Antelope Peak, 9 miles; grass within three-fourths of a mile; camp at station. From this place to Mohawk Station, 12 miles; no grass; camp on the river. To Texas Hill, 11 miles; a little grass on the hill station, one-half mile back from the river. Lagoon Camp; fine water, wood, grass, and shade; thence to Burwell’s Ranch, 11 miles; very dusty and disagreeable; men nor animals cannot recruit much. At Grassy Camp, 3 miles distant, they do much better. From Grassy Camp to Berks Station, 6 miles; a very poor camp; little better at Oatman Flat, 11 miles farther. From Oatman Flat to Kenyon Station, 11 miles; poor camp; no grass. To Shady Camp, 10 miles; everything good. From Shady Camp to Gila Bend, 4 miles; wood and water, but no grass; thence to Desert {p.598} Station, 22 miles; good wood; no water or grass. To the Tanks, 7 miles; same as Desert Station. To Maricopa Wells, 11 miles; plenty of brackish water; some salt grass; and from thence to the Pima Villages, 11 miles; road fair, with some sloughs.

The march from Fort Yuma to the Pima Villages was fatiguing in the extreme. The intense heat and alkali dust was almost unbearable; both men and animals suffered very much. As fast as possible the troops were pushed forward. On the 14th of May Lieutenant-Colonel West was sent forward by way of Fort Breckinridge with four companies of infantry. This fort was reoccupied, and the Stars and Stripes again floated to the breeze. From Fort Breckinridge Colonel West proceeded to Tucson by way of Cañada del Ora. A description of the route is taken from the notes of Colonel West:

May 14, left Fort Barrett, Pima, at 7 a.m.; road tends toward the river on the left hand; detached and irregular mountains, from 5 to 9 miles, to the right; soil becomes sandy and the country desert. Greasewood and mesquite wood abounded, but no thickets. The river is gradually approached and touched at Sacaton Station; there plenty of sacaton grass; a poor article for pasturage; good camp on the river; road fine for marching and transportation. Course, east-northeast.

15th, left Sacaton Station at 5.40 a.m. Road parts from the river and leaves it from 1 to 2 miles to the left; mountain spurs trend off southeast; a lone peak about 1 1/2 miles long is detached from the main range. The Butterfield road to Tucson passes between the peak and main mountain. A picket there can effectually watch both roads. A small lagoon of water is found at the north base. The Picacho is plainly visible throughout the day’s march. Dense mesquite thickets; road fine for marching and transportation. Camp on the river in a cottonwood grove, one-fourth mile below White’s; good grazing and fine. Course, east by south.

May 16, left Whites at 5.50 a.m. Road leaves the river and takes the mesa; the ascent is gradual and road good for 20 miles. Thickets of cactus and palo verde. At 20 to 31 miles a steep descent leads to Dry Camp, a basin in the hills of some 30 acres in area; a trail makes out of this due north to Ojo Verde Springs, 4 miles; the Gun River is 3 miles farther in the same direction, Ojo Verde can be used; the water is inferior and not abundant; the quality and perhaps the quantity could be improved. The spring is 4 miles off the road, and the return must be made by the same track. Left Dry Camp at 6.40 p.m.; road turns off southeast up an arroyo; very heavy sand for about 6 miles; then gradual ascent of 5 miles; then more abrupt and up high hills.

At 15 miles from Dry Camp a finger-post, marked “Water,” points to the right.

Cottonwood Spring is distant half a mile, in a ravine. The grazing is fine and water abundant for such a body of troops as this. A lone cottonwood tree prominently marks the spring. Course, east by south-southeast.

May 17, laid by.

May 18, left Cottonwood Spring at 5 a.m.; road over rolling hills 5 miles; good grass, then pass the summit, and the descent commences towards San Pedro River. Sandy arroyo for 8 miles and heavy traveling; the road becomes a canon. A walnut tree, 3 miles west of Fort Breckinridge, marked “Water,” stands in the middle of the road. At this point the road to Tucson turns off square to the right; thence to the San Pedro and Fort Breckinridge. Colonel Carleton changed the name of this fort, and called it Fort Stanford, in honor of Leland Stanford, Governor of California. The fort is 3 miles to the right, up a cañon; rocks from 100 to 300 feet high; pass from 20 to 70 yards wide; road extremely heavy. At this fort fine stream, good grazing, and abundance of wood. Course, east by south.

19, left Fort Breckinridge at 5.45 a.m. Returned by the cañon to the walnut tree; thence turned abruptly to the left and south up a similar cañon, which gradually expands to open country; road for 12 miles excessively heavy and sandy; thence gently rolling hills until the foot of a mountain is reached on the left, about 17 miles from the walnut tree. Next 3 miles the hills are sidling and difficult. A steep descent of 1 mile leads to Cañada del Oro. Camp on a fine mountain stream; grazing very fine and wood abundant. This is a very difficult day’s march. Course, northwest and south.

20th, left Cañada del Oro at 2 p.m.; road follows a ravine between the mesa on the right and a mountain range on the left; a good deal of sand, but mainly a fair road; fine grass along the road.

At 11.55 the road forks, the left-hand leading 1 mile to the Rincon, a small, running stream; fine camp; grass immediately under the mountain. Course, southwest.

May 21, left Rincon at 5.30 a.m. Road turns round the point of the mountain on the left; traveling rather heavy. Sandy arroyo, and then the ground becomes rolling. {p.599} About 8 miles from Rincon a mesa covered with cactus and mesquite is reached; traveling improves. Course, southwest and south by east.

Our troops entered and occupied Tucson without firing a shot. At our approach the Texans made a precipitate retreat. Colonel Carleton determined to collect the troops at this point for rest, drill, &c. Men and animals required rest; wagons wanted repairing. The dryness of the atmosphere and the intolerable heat had shrunk them to the point of falling to pieces. Communication was opened with Sonora for the purchase of flour, grain, &c.

In the first part of June all the troops composing the column were in and about Tucson, with the exception of a part of the Fifth Infantry, left to garrison Forts Yuma and Barrett. There is another and more direct road leading from the Pima Villages to Tucson. This road was taken by Lieutenant Shinn and two companies of infantry. A description of the road by Lieutenant Shinn is appended.



The following itinerary of the marches from Fort Barrett (Puma Villages) to Tucson, Ariz., via Picacho Mountain, made by Captain Shinn, Third Artillery, U. S. Army, is published for the information of all concerned:

June 1, left camp at Fort Barrett at 4.15 p.m., with battery, one ambulance, one water and eight transportation wagons (loaded to 3,600 pounds with ammunition flour, and forage), 87 men, and 153 animals. Road on Gun River fine for transportation of heavily-loaded wagons. No water; no grass; vegetation mesquite and greasewood. At Sacaton Station very dirty; encamped on river at 8 p.m.; 11.8 miles.

June 2, filled water-tank (600 gallons), and left camp at Sacaton at 4.20 p.m. Road leaves the river and sweeps round from southeast by south to south by east, with gradually ascending slope to summit, 5 1/4 miles between mountain spur and detached peak on left, 2 miles of road dusty, then soil changes from the alkali dust of Gila River bottom to mixture of sand and gravel, very hard and quite smooth. From summit Casa Grande in sight on desert to left and the Picacho straight ahead south by east 31 miles; desert continues to Oneida Station; road continues good; at 8 miles gravel replaced by hard alkali clay; vegetation, mesquite, greasewood and cactus; no water or grass on road; wood plenty and sufficient for cooking near Oneida Station, which is on the left; well on the right of road; depth 29 feet, with 5 feet of water; encamped there at 7.45 p.m.; train all in 10 minutes later.

One hundred and seventy-five buckets (equal to 700 gallons) was taken from the well, at the rate of 10 gallons per minute, apparently without diminishing the supply. The water is excellent, cold, and sweet; the best this side of Fort Yuma; arrived and departed during the night; found no grass near station 11.1 miles.

June 3, left camp at 4 a.m. Old marks of surface water slow a gradual rise of the desert toward Blue Water Station; road fine for marching; very little sand. At 6 miles halted from 5.45 to 6.45 for grass, which may be found in considerable quantity 100 yards to the left of road in the belt of mesquite or arroyo leading east from that point, and said to extend 4 or 5 miles in the same direction; obtained sufficient for a good night’s feed. This grass is gramma, with some little gaeta. The gaeta was also observed on the left of the road 1 mile farther on; no water; vegetation, desert plants, mesquite, and greasewood. Arrived and encamped at Blue Water Station at 7.45 a.m.; well (69 feet in depth, with 2 1/2 feet of water) and station both on right of road; drew water at the rate of 6 gallons per minute for 1* hours; watered 90 horses at same time, 4 gallons each; mules the p.m. and horses again in the p.m. Took from this well in ten hours over 1,600 gallons of water and left the depth or water as found. It will probably afford 4,000 gallons of water in twenty-four hours; quality good and water cool. At 4 p.m. sent a detachment forward to clean out well at the point of mountain; wood plenty; some gramma and a little gaeta reported to exist in the mesquite 500 yards northwest of the station; 9.7 miles.

June 4, left Blue Water Station at 2.10 a.m. and expected to march to Tucson, 54 miles, in the next twenty-four hours, as there is no water on the road, and not enough with company to encamp on; some wagons remain loaded with 3,600 pounds; morning quite cool and very fine for marching; road continues to rise to the Picacho; at 4.40 a.m. 9.6 miles from Blue Water; soil, clay, water-washed, and very hard and smooth, extends for miles on either side of the road; considerable dry gramma grass in the immediate vicinity and mesquite sparde. At 13.9 miles passed graves of Lieutenant Barrett and two soldiers on the left of road. The chalcos or water-holes, now dry, {p.600} are in the mesquite, on the right of the road; here quite a thicket; some grass, but dry. The road is now level, or nearly so, for 3 or 4 miles. At 6.45 a.m. halted at the Picacho Station on the right, and distant from Blue Water Station 14.9 miles; saw a band of antelope near foot of peak; no water at this point; consumed about 200 gallons of water in tank, for which had to wait half an hour; resumed march at 7.45 a.m.; road begins to descend towards the south 2 miles beyond the Picacho and so continues to point of mountain, a very excellent road all the way. At 25.5 miles passed a deep well; dry on right; no water ever found here; high mountains on right; distant from 30 to 100 miles, and between mountain and road valley of Santa Cruz River, here only an arroyo, which road crosses near point of mountain; at 12 m. and 29 miles halted one-half hour; met a messenger at 1.80 p.m. and received notice of water in abundance at point of mountain, where company arrived and encamped at 4.15 p.m.; station on right and well on left of road; water plenty; no grass; no wood at well, and but little on last 8 miles of road; used water brought from Tucson on wagons, and did not thoroughly test the capacity of the well, which is 39 feet deep, with 4 feet of water; all agree in pronouncing it the best on the desert and say it cannot be dipped dry; 39.1 miles.

June 5, left camp at 3 a.m., about 5 miles from point of mountain; dense mesquite thicket a good cover for Indians; at 6 miles crossed arroyo of Santa Cruz River, descending to left; quite dry; a little sand and some more at 11 miles, one-half mile of it this time; remainder of road very good; numerous cottonwood trees on road this day and much mesquite; no water; between 7 and 10 miles from point of mountain much salt grass; poor stuff for forage. First 5 and last 3 1/2 miles of to-day’s march very fine; road of hard gravel; arrived at Tucson at 8.45 a.m.; 15 miles. Total, 86.7 miles.

Tucson is about half way between Fort Yuma and the Rio Grande, and contains a population of 400, or perhaps 500, mostly Mexicans. A few Americans and foreigners were living here, principally gamblers and ruffians, traitors to their country-secessionists.

Colonel Carleton received his promotion to brigadier-general of volunteers while on the desert in the early part of June. On his arrival at Tucson the Territory of Arizona was at once placed under martial law, and the following proclamation issued.*


A number of notorious characters were arrested, examined by military commissions, and sent to Fort Yuma. Order sprang from disorder, and in a short time a den of thieves was converted into a peaceful village.

In the mean time General Carleton was making active preparations to move his command to the Rio Grande; wagons were repaired; stores collected from Sonora, and everything put in as good condition as circumstances would permit after the severe march over the Yuma and Gila Deserts.

No communication up to this time could be had with our forces in New Mexico. The strength of the rebels and their locality entirely unknown. The great difficulty in communicating with General Canby, at that time in command of the Department of New Mexico, was on account of hostile Indians. The Apache Nation occupying the whole country between the Rio Grande and the Colorado River, the great distance to be traversed through their country, rendered it hazardous if not impossible for any small party to get through it.

General Carleton endeavored to send an express to General Canby from Tucson. This was carried by 3 men. The party was attacked near Apache Pass, and 2 of the men were killed by the Indians; the survivor was pursued some 40 miles and barely escaped death. He was captured by the Texans near Mesilla and the dispatches to General Canby fell into their hands. From these they learned the exact strength of General Carleton’s command and the intended movement of the column.

On the 22d of June General Carleton sent forward Lieutenant-Colonel {p.601} Eyre, of the First Cavalry, California Volunteers, with 140 men. This was the advance guard of the column. With the exception of frequent skirmishing with Indians and the loss of 3 men killed and several wounded at Apache Pass, the party met with no other enemy before reaching the Rio Grande.

Apache Pass is about midway between Tucson and the river. The pass is through a spur of the Chiricahua Mountains, about 3 1/2 or 4 miles long. In this pass is a fine spring of water, and a favorite haunt of the Indians. A company of infantry and a part of a company of cavalry, with two mountain howitzers, fought the Indians at this spring for four hours. A number of the savages were killed in the fight. Our loss was 3 killed and several wounded. On either side of this pass extends a plain from 30 to 40 miles in width. The Indians can see parties approach and lay in wait for them.

On the 17th of July, preparations for the movement of the command having been completed, General Carleton issued the following general order:**


No report had been received from Colonel Eyre. The strength and locality of the Confederates was unknown; consequently the column was kept well in hand, the companies marching only one day apart.

For a description of the country I quote from the notes of Colonel Eyre.***


As soon as the arrival of Colonel Eyre on the river was known the Texans made a hasty flight. Their army was completely demoralized, and Colonel Eyre’s force magnified fourfold. What they could not carry with them they destroyed. One hundred and fifty sick and wounded were left in hospital at Franklin, Tex., and above.

Colonel Eyre crossed the river near Fort Thorn and pushed down toward the retreating rebels. He entered Las Cruces, opposite Mesilla, and raised our national colors. Franklin was also occupied by a detachment of his command. General Carleton, with the head of the column, reached the river on the 8th of August, the time consumed in the march being eighteen days. The sight of this beautiful stream after the many days of toil and suffering gladdened the hearts of all. The last day’s march was particularly severe; over 40 miles had been made by the infantry without water without a murmur. The desert had been conquered, and the command arrived on the river in good fighting condition. No deaths had occurred between Tucson and the river, and but few remained on the sick list.

General Carleton crossed the river at the point where Colonel Eyre crossed. The river was so high that it could not be forded, and the only boats were two small scows, made by Colonel Eyre. First the animals were swum over. This was successfully accomplished; none were lost. A rope was attached to both sides of the boats and extended to either bank of the river. A number of men were stationed on both flanks. By this means they were enabled to pull the boat from shore to shore, being constantly in the water. The wagons were unloaded; their contents ferried across in the boats, which were hauled across by ropes. In this manner each command as it came up was crossed in safety. Nothing was lost or injured.

General Carleton moved the column down the river as far as Las {p.602} Cruces, La Mesilla, and Franklin. Taking with him two companies of cavalry, he proceeded on down as far as Fort Quitman, Tex.; from there he dispatched a company of the First Cavalry as far as Fort Davis, distant from Fort Quitman-miles. The Texans had abandoned this post. One man, much reduced, was found dead, his body being pierced in many places with arrows. This man had evidently been left behind sick. The sick and wounded Texans left behind at Franklin were sent with an escort to San Antonio.

General Canby, at this time in command of the Department of New Mexico, had been ordered East, and on the 16th of September, 1862, General Carleton arrived in Santa Fé, and on the 18th assumed command of the department. Before leaving the lower country he published the following general order:


HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARIZONA, Las Cruces, N. Mex., August 14, 1862.

I. Commanders of towns will at once establish sanitary regulations, and require them to be observed by the inhabitants and by the troops, so far as the policing of the streets and the keeping of their dwellings, quarters, stores, corrals, &c., in a state of cleanliness may be necessary to their health and comfort. Frequent inspections will be made by commanding officers or by a medical officer under his direction, to see that in all respects these regulations are followed.

II. It is expected that all of the inhabitants living along the Rio Grande southward from the Jornada del Muerto to Fort Bliss, in Texas, will, at the earliest practicable moment, repair their dwellings and clean up their streets.

The people may now rest assured that the era of anarchy and misrule-when there was no protection to life or property, when the wealthy were plundered, when the poor were robbed and oppressed, when all were insulted and maltreated, and when there was no respect for age or sex-has passed away; that now, under the sacred banner of our country, all may claim and shall receive their just rights. Therefore let the burden of anxiety be lifted from their hearts, and once more let them pursue their avocations with cheerfulness, and with the full confidence that the protection which now shelters them from injustice will always be stronger in proportion as they shall be powerless to protect themselves.

The success of the march of this column was dependent upon two things: First, the endurance of the men; second, the care taken of them. From the first organization of the column the constant care of General Carleton was given it; the health of the men first, discipline next. Constantly watchful, the minutest detail received his personal attention. Every movement was based upon calculation; nothing avoidable left to chance. To conduct this expedition successfully required a clear head, sound judgment, indomitable will, and perseverance. All these General Carleton possesses in an eminent degree.

It will not be too much to say that there are probably few men in the United States Army so well fitted to command an expedition of this kind. A military experience of more than twenty years, a great portion of it spent on our frontiers, has made him familiar by experience with the wants and requirements of men in desert marching.

In this march everything was reduced to the smallest possible compass. No tents were used by officers or men during the whole march. Two wagons were allowed to a company. In these were carried camp and garrison equipage, ten days’ rations, mess furniture-everything belonging to a company. Every article was weighed. Officers, from the general down, carried but 80 pounds of baggage, including bedding, mess kit, &c.

The troops suffered very little from sickness. The mortality was very small. Not one single death occurred on the march of the column from the Pacific Ocean to the Rio Grande, from the 13th of April to the 8th of August, and but five deaths from disease in hospital during this time-two at Fort Barrett and three at Tucson.


Every possible care was observed to guard against sickness. This, together with the splendid material of the men, will account for the success of the expedition and the slight mortality from disease attending it.

General Carleton, on relinquishing the immediate command of the column, published the following general order, viz:


HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO. Santa Fé, N. Mex., September 21, 1862.

In entering upon the duties that remove him from immediate association with the troops constituting the Column from California the commanding general desires to express his grateful acknowledgment of the conduct and services of the officers and men of that command. Traversing a desert country, that has heretofore been regarded as impracticable for the operations of large bodies of troops, they have reached their destination, and accomplished the object assigned them, not only without loss of any kind, but improved in discipline, in morale, and in every other element of efficiency. That patient and cheerful endurance of hardships, the zeal and alacrity with which they have grappled with and overcome obstacles that would have been insurmountable to any but troops of the highest physical and moral energy, the complete abnegation of self and subordination of every personal consideration to the grand object of our hopes and efforts, give the most absolute assurance of success in any field or against any enemy.

California has reason to be proud of the sons she has sent across the continent to assist in the great struggle in which our country is now engaged.

The commanding general is requested by the officer who preceded him in the command of this department to express for him the gratification felt by every officer and soldier of his command at the fact that troops from the Atlantic and Pacific slope, from the mountains of California and Colorado, acting in the same cause, impelled by the same duties, and animated by the same hopes, have met and shaken hands in the center of this great continent.

JAMES H. CARLETON, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.

Very respectfully,

J. M. MCNULTY, Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers.

* See inclosure C to Carleton’s report of August 2, p. 561.

** See inclosure G to Carleton’s report, p. 555.

*** Surgeon McNulty here quotes Eyre’s entire report of July 6, see p. 585.


APRIL 22, 1862.–Capture of Union launches in Aransas Bay, Tex.

Report of Maj. William O. Yager, commanding Camp Aransas.


SIR: On the 22d instant intelligence reached Shell Banks that the enemy had run two of their launches through Cedar Bayou and captured three sloops, one of which, the Democrat, they stripped of her sails and left the captain and mate to pole their way to land. With the other two they bore down toward Shell Banks, with the purpose of running past the fort under friendly appearance, and thence out the Aransas Pass to the blockader. They had approached within 6 miles of the fort, and were tacking back and forth as if waiting for night before attempting to pass. When, with two sloops carrying 32 men, Captain Neal, myself, and Lieutenant Canfield set out after them, they put back in haste. Ent having no place where they could get out of the bay with their prizes without passing us, they quit them and took to their launches. They made directly for Blind Bayou and soon entered it. We left our boats and hurried across by land to intercept them. Finding themselves thus headed off, they reluctantly abandoned their launches and made off to the sand hills, firing upon our men, who were {p.604} now kept from pursuing them by the depth of the water in the pass at the point where we approached it. (We could have swum across, but would then have been on the wrong side, with wet ammunition. Their fire was returned with spirit for several rounds, but without damage to either party.) The blockading vessel, meantime, was within 2 miles of the scene, an interested spectator. I wonder that she did not shell us. It may be she did not fully understand the situation of parties, and may have mistaken our boats for their prizes. The Yankees, 22 in number, soon disappeared among the sand hills, and the folly of groping about in the dark after them being manifest, we returned with their launches and contents to Shell Bank. Our prizes are cutters or launches-one pulling five and the other four oars-capable of carrying 10 or 14 men, respectively, with sails; a fine mariner’s compass, a pennant, three pairs of handcuffs, and two guns belonging to the men, taken by them on the two sloops; the sails of the Democrat, some rations, one boarding-pistol, and other trifles.

On our return to the bank we met Major Forshey and Lieutenants Aspinwall, Conklin, and Russell, with parties, on three other boats; but darkness prevented any attempt at further proceedings.

The captain of the bark (Kittredge) was in the party. They left the bark with five days’ rations; handcuffed the men taken on the Swan and Mustang, more for humiliation than to secure them.

Some of the Yankee soldiers expressed great dissatisfaction with their commander; said they would not fight for him if they could avoid it.

The men of the Swan and Mustang seemed very grateful for their release.

On the 21st the Burkhart was chased by these launches for several hours; but want of knowledge of the channels on the part of the enemy prevented them from overtaking her.

I have not been able to engage suitable schooners for guard boats in the bays. Chartered a Sloop (the Rebecca) to lay about Blind Pass, but for some cause she has not returned from Saluria according to contract. I sent an armed party up to Saluria yesterday to carry some returning boats and to escort Major Forshey.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. O. YAGER, Major, Mounted Battalion, Comdg. Camp Aransas, Tex.

Lieut. B. E. BENTON, A. A. A. G., Southern Military District of the Rio Grande.

P. S.-The compass taken from the enemy was sent by Major Forshey to General Hébert, to be presented, with his permission, to Commodore William Hunter, chief naval commander of the Department of Texas, from the officers engaged in the expedition.


W. O. Y.


APRIL 25, 1862.–Affair at Socorro, N. Mex.

Report of Maj. Charles E. Wesche, Second New Mexico Militia.

SANTA FÉ, N. MEX., May 5, 1862.

GENERAL: In accordance with your verbal order I herewith report to you the movements and surrender of that part of the Second Regiment {p.605} New Mexico Militia which, under command of Col. Nicolas Pino, left Fort Craig the night of February 22 last:

The morning of the 24th said detachment, consisting of 280 men, passed through Socorro en route to Polvadera. Not far from Limitar we met Lieutenant Cooley, with letters from General O. P. Hovey, ordering Colonel Pino to fall back on Socorro, and to station his militiamen at or below said place. A halt was made to refresh our animals, and early in the afternoon Second Major Rivera, with a file of deserted volunteers and militiamen whom we had picked up on the road the day before, started for Polvadera, while the detachment countermarched to Socorro, Lieutenant-Colonel Baca and myself went ahead and selected the place where to establish quarters. As soon as our detachment arrived Colonel Pino ordered an advance guard of 14 mounted men, under Captain Gutierrez, below the town, and the animals were to be sent to graze under a strong guard, but had scarcely gone five minutes when Captain Gutierrez sent word that a picket of the enemy was approaching. By this time it grew dark. Colonel Pino ordered out two companies afoot, with Lieutenant-Colonel Baca, to reconnoiter the force of the advancing enemy. At the same time our animals were ordered back and to be guarded in a corral near by. Immediately below the town, under the cover of some adobe walls, Lieutenant-Colonel Baca had posted his two companies, when Captain Gutierrez pointed omit to him the place where the enemy’s advance guard were ambushed. Lieutenant-Colonel Baca ordered Captain Gutierrez to dislodge them. The Gutierrez picket had moved on a short distance when the Texans fired a shot, whereupon Lieutenant-Colonel Baca’s party discharged their rifles in the direction whence they saw the flash of the enemy’s gun. This made the Texan picket retreat to their main body, and Lieutenant-Colonel Baca came back to our headquarters and reported the above-stated facts to Colonel Pino, who ordered the different captains under his command to keep their men under arms and to be ready for immediate action. Small parties of our men were sent to cover such points as appeared most important.

Meantime a part of the Texans, under Lieutenant-Colonel McNeill, had taken position on an elevation southwest of Socorro, while Captain Frazier went around the town and intercepted the road north. It was about 8 p.m. the enemy fired a cannon-ball over the town, and from that moment our men began to desert and to hide themselves away. I sent Ygn° Montoya to Camp Connelly with a note, addressed to the commanding officer there, asking for re-enforcements. Accompanied by Adjutant Gonzales I visited the houses of some of the influential Mexicans, and tried my best to make them take up arms in defense of their Government, their homes, and firesides. Vain endeavor! No one responded to the call. Don Pedro Baca went even so far as to say that the United States Government was a curse to this Territory, and if the Texans would take and keep possession of New Mexico the change could only be for the better.

I went back to headquarters, and having reported to Colonel Pino the revolting ingratitude of Don Pedro Baca and the stupid indifference of other citizens, the alcalde of Socorro made his appearance, and told us that a Texan officer who came to his house had sent him to bring about an interview with our commanding officer. Colonel Pino sent me to see who the Texan officer was and to find out his intentions. The alcalde conducted me to a house not far from the church, where I found Lieutenant Simmons, who told me that by order of {p.606} Colonel McNeill he had come to ask the unconditional surrender of the town; moreover, he manifested the desire to speak to Colonel Pino himself. I replied that, although only an inferior militia officer, I could assure him that Colonel Pino would not listen to such a demand, and that if he had no other business with my colonel he could save himself the trouble of going to our headquarters; but as Lieutenant Simmons again expressed his wish to see Colonel Pino, I conducted him to our quarters. Here the Texan messenger made the same request as he had stated to me, and Colonel Pino answered about in the same way as I had anticipated, when Lieutenant Simmons added that Colonel McNeill would be sorry to attack Socorro and sacrifice the lives of innocent families; to which Colonel Pino replied that he was as anxious to spare the innocent families as Colonel McNeill could be, and that at daybreak he (Colonel Pino) would meet the Texans and give them battle in the plain south of Socorro. Lieutenant Simmons promised to inform Colonel McNeill of that proposition and to return his answer. I mounted my horse to accompany the Texan officer through our pickets, but our pickets had disappeared, and the enemy’s pickets extended to the very houses of Socorro. At a short distance I met several Texan officers, and among them Colonel McNeill, who, after having listened to Lieutenant Simmons’ report, went with me to our headquarters. At the conference which now commenced Colonel Pino, Lieutenant-Colonel Baca, and myself attended from our side, and Lieutenant-Colonel McNeill, Major Ragnet, and Interpreter Stewart from the rebels. Colonel Pino repeated he was willing not to expose the town, but to fight next morning in the open field. Colonel McNeill wanted to take possession of the town at once. Our object was to gain time, as we expected that on my message to the commander of Camp Connelly, Governor Connelly, General Hovey, and Adjutant-General Clever, who at the time were at Polvadera, would come to our relief with the volunteers stationed at that place. The discussion between Pino and McNeill was interrupted by some of our officers, who wanted to speak to Colonel Pino alone. The latter went out, returned after a few minutes, and then taking me aside ordered me to inquire into the state of affairs at the quarters, inasmuch as the officers complained that all their men had absconded. At the principal door of the quarters I found Capt. Mercedes Sanchez as sentinel, which place he had taken, he told me, because the militiamen on guard had abandoned their posts and no soldiers were left to replace the sentinel. Inside I met Capts. Ramon Sena y Rivera and Cruz Gutierrez, Lieutenants Garcia, Herrera, Homberger, Ortiz y Tafoya, Sergeant Martinez, and several others, amounting to 37 persons in all; This deplorable state of things I reported to Colonel Pino, and then the conference was continued. Colonel McNeill would not wait until next morning, he said, because he knew he had the advantage at that moment; but if Colonel Pino could give his word of honor that we had not written to anybody or otherwise given notice of the approach of the Confederates, in such case he would consent that hostilities should not be commenced until daylight. As Colonel Pino replied indirectly the conference was considered concluded.

Colonel McNeill had invited Colonel Pino several times to visit his camp and persuade himself that the Confederates largely outnumbered us, and Colonel Pino now determined to go. Colonel Pino, Lieutenant-Colonel Baca, and myself rode along with our visitors, and after having looked at the long line of rebels and seeing that no relief came from Camp Connelly, then, at 2 a.m. April 25, Colonel Pino surrendered.


If it had been disgusting to us to see our militiamen abscond in the hours of trial, it was more provoking to see them come out of their hiding places when the danger was over. There were at least 150 militiamen who at 10 a.m. took the oath of neutrality. Colonel Pino, Lieutenant-Colonel Baca, and myself were paroled.

I am, general ,your obedient servant,

CHAS. EMIL WESCHE, First Major, Second New Mexico Militia.


MAY 15, 1862.–Naval Demonstration upon Galveston, Tex.

Report of Col. Joseph J. Cook, commanding Military District of Galveston.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG. TEX. VOLS., MIL. DIST. GALVESTON, Galveston, Tex., May 15, 1862-6 p.m.

SIR: I beg most respectfully to report to the commanding general that about 3 p.m. to-day the schooner Sam Houston approached South Battery from westward, a brisk sea-breeze blowing, and stood down within a mile and a half of the battery, ostensibly for the purpose of drawing our fire or making an attack. Captain Schneider, thinking that he could cripple or sink her, fired four shots, striking very close, and thinking that one shot struck. She tacked after the first fire. Finding that she was too close in, she stood off and returned to her anchorage near the frigate. Captain Schneider and his officers have had repeated verbal orders from me to send me word if approached by any vessel and not provoke an attack; also a written order from Col. E. B. Nichols, under date of December 6, 1861, viz:

Should appearances indicate an attack, you will immediately telegraph to me at the office of E. B. Nichols & Co., where my headquarters are established.

Captain Schneider failed to inform me of the approach, and had I been present I should not have allowed the firing. Captain Schneider, however, justified himself under Post Order, No. 1, dated July 25, 1861, issued by Col. J. C. Moore, paragraph IV, viz:

Should any of the enemy’s vessels come within effective range of either battery, the officer in charge will open fire without hesitation and give him the warmest reception his metal will afford.

After the firing at the schooner the movements on board the frigate indicated her intention to move, whereupon orders were issued for extraordinary vigilance on the part of the vedettes.

I have time honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. J. COOK, Colonel, Commanding Military District.

Capt. SAMUEL BOYER DAVIS, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

MAY 16, 1862-6 a.m.

All passed quiet during the night.

J. J. C.


MAY 21, 1862.–Affair at Paraje, N. Mex..

Report of Capt. Joseph G. Tilford, Third U. S. Cavalry.

PARAJE, N. MEX., May 30, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 21st, about sunup in the morning, a person was brought me by my guard bearing a white flag. On being questioned as to his business, he replied that his commanding officer (Lieutenant Bowman, I think) demanded a surrender of the town. On my declining to surrender and instructing him to inform Lieutenant Bowman that a compliance with his demand depended altogether on his ability to enforce it, he left, and I immediately proceeded to place my small command (45 men) in the best positions to resist an attack. None, how ever, was made. A few straggling shots at long ranges were made, and the Texans commenced a retreat down the Jornada. My spies reported them to be about 100 strong. My horses were so very poor and weak, and not knowing but that they had a stronger force below and were only attempting to draw me out, I did not deem it prudent to follow. I saw no more of them.

At about the time the demand for a surrender came a smaller party was seen, and near where my horses had been, until a few days previous, herded day and night, which leads me to believe, as my party was very small and about half with the herd, that simultaneous with their attack on me they would run off my herd; but finding the herd in, they declined the attack. I believe the white flag that came up with Lieutenant Taylor’s party some time since covered a party of spies. I had only about 20 men then and herded my animals day and night.

In conclusion, I beg to say that I regret that they approached so near before I had notice of their coming, as I might then have been enabled to have so disposed my force as to have done them some injury. I had every confidence in my spies, as they were highly recommended to me, but they entirely neglected their business on that occasion, which I reported to you on the next day.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. G. TILFORD, Captain, Third U. S. Cavalry.

Lieut. A. L. ANDERSON, A. A. A. 0., Southern Mil. Dist., Fort Craig, N. Mex.


MAY 23, 1862.–Affair near Fort Craig, N. Mex.

Report of Brig. Gen. Edward R. S. Canby, U. S. Army, commanding Department of New Mexico.


SIR: I have the honor to report that one of our pickets, 8 miles below Fort Craig, was attacked by a superior force of the enemy on the 23d instant, and repulsed, without loss on our side and a loss of 4 on the part of the assailants. With this exception there has been no change in the state of affairs since my last reports. Supplies are being accumulated at Fort Craig and Peralta as rapidly as possible, but the great flow {p.609} in the Rio Grande continues to be a serious embarrassment to all our operations.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

ED. R. S. CANBY, Colonel Nineteenth Infantry and Brig. Gen. Comdg. Dept.



JULY 4, 1862.–Attack on U. S. Vessels near Velasco, Tex.

Report of Col. J. Bates, Thirteenth Texas Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS BATES’ REGIMENT, Velasco, Tex., July 5, 1862.

SIR: On the 3d instant, at dusk, I received information from Capt. William Saunders that there was a vessel outside, near San Luis. It was the impression of the pilots that she had some designs upon a cotton schooner in the canal, intending to capture or burn her. At Captain Saunders’ request I issued him an order to take 40 of his men, without delay, repair to the cotton schooner, and defend her.

On the morning of the 4th a schooner was reported near shore this side of San Luis, on the peninsula, and soon afterwards I saw a large steamer coming from the west. When near the schooner the steamer opened fire. I started immediately for the scene of action. The schooner was about 6 miles east of this place. When about half way to the schooner I met Captain Saunders and his command. I halted them, ascertained that the schooner had been beached, and was out of gun-shot of the shore. Our men had been driven off by a constant fire of the enemy of shot and shell. I felt that Captain Saunders and his men had performed all that was in their power and with much hazard to their lives. I perceived, also, that the cotton schooner was in line with the steamer and beached; schooner with her sails lowered. Captain Saunders informed me that he thought her crew had abandoned her. I at once ordered a forward movement of Captain Saunders’ company as skirmishers, and sent an order back to Velasco to Lieutenant Moss to move forward, with Captain Clark’s infantry company as a reserve, to defend the schooner in the canal, and have no doubt that the presence of Captain Saunders and his men saved the schooner from conflagration. Fire was now seen to be raging on the beached schooner and shells were thrown at all who attempted to approach her. Captain Saunders disposed of his men in detachments near the scene of action, and advanced with a few of his men under fire to the burning schooner. Soon afterwards the steamer got under way, apparently abandoning all designs upon the schooner in the canal, and I ordered Captain Clark’s company back to Velasco, and some of Captain Saunders’ men also commenced to return, when, to my surprise, the steamer put back, came close in to shore near the cotton schooner, and landed three boats full of men under a brisk fire. Such of Captain Saunders’ men who were within reach I ordered rapidly forward, with instructions to attack; others voluntarily returned, and shots were exchanged between the enemy and our force. The fire from the steamer upon our men became very galling, they firing round shot and shell at the rate of six per minute, and scattering our men whenever {p.610} they formed. The enemy made no attempt to advance inward from the beach, and after remaining some time on shore retreated hastily to the steamer and put to sea.

We sustained no loss, although under a fire at times very heavy, and continued at intervals seven or eight hours, and saved from the burning schooner some $2,000 worth of stores, principally medicines.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

J. BATES, Colonel, Commanding.


JULY 7-17, 1862.–Operations in Aransas Bay, Tex.


No. 1.–Col. Charles Livenskiold, C. S. Army, Provost-Marshal, &c.
No. 2.–Capt. B. F. Neal, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Col. Charles Livenskiold, Provost-Marshal, Corpus Christi.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEX., July 17, 1862.

GENERAL: Your letter of the 11th instant, by express, came duly to hand, but only this day. From its tenor I see that my communication in relation to the appearance of the enemy off Aransas Bay and his entrance in the bay had not then been received. I will therefore report to you in full since the 7th instant, the date of his first appearance.

On the 7th a bark, with a 100-ton schooner and one large frigate (second-class cutter), came off the bay. The schooner and cutter, with six launches, entered the bay and proceeded to take a position near the Shell Bank, and so as to rake and control the ship channel leading from Aransas [Bay] to Corpus Christi Bay. Upon receiving this news I sent the dispatch-boat Breaker, under Captain Rose, with Captain Ware and 10 men, to make a reconnaissance, and, returning, they reported the enemy’s force to be as before represented-all well armed and probably some 225 men. Next Captain Harrison, in command of gunboat General Bee, of Major Shea’s command (here present on recruiting service for a crew of sailors), went down and reconnoitered the enemy very closely, say within 200 yards. His report was to the effect that the schooner was heavily armed with cannon, about 125 tons burden, evidently a fine sailer, sharp and deep, and drawing at least 6 feet of water. The cutter was thirty-oared and armed with one 24-pounder howitzer, the launches four-oared whale-boats. The force was deemed too formidable, on account of its superiority in artillery, to warrant any attack or action on the offensive. Three prizes had already been taken by the enemy, say sloop Bella Italia, of 10 or 12 tons, with corn and bacon; schooner Reindeer, of about 15 tons, with 52 bales of cotton, and a lugger, with corn, name unknown. The schooner Monte Christo had been visited, and the cotton at Lamar (Some 47 bales) taken off to Saint Joseph and stored near Johnson’s house.

I received a communication from Captain Neal upon the subject, which I inclose, marked No. 1*. From its tenor I concluded that he was undecided as to what he should do, and desired advice from me.


I wrote him at once that there could be no danger for his command, as from my information the numerical strength of the enemy must be insignificant; that I deemed it of great importance that he should retreat or fall back no farther, but, on the contrary, maintain his position, and that, if practicable, without too great a risk of life or public property, he should endeavor to tease the enemy, so as to draw his fire and ascertain range and caliber of guns of the armed schooner.

I inclose subsequent communications from Captain Neal, marked Nos. 2 and 3, which will throw further light on proceedings up to this date.

The rapid movements of the enemy, the numerous exaggerated reports, and the absence of the commanding officer, together with want of experience in the officers present and unwillingness to assume responsibility for fear of consequences, all tended to create a perfect panic at the very beginning; and to put this down and take all necessary steps for the proper defense of the town and the protection or rescuing of a large amount of cotton and tobacco, with the cargo just landed from the schooner Penelope, it became necessary that some one should command and take the lead. As the officers all seemed to look to me for guidance, advice, and orders, and showed themselves willing and anxious, with their men, to obey me, under the circumstances, I did not shrink from the great responsibility, and at once made all necessary suggestions.

All the necessary ammunition was at once prepared, and finding the troops without caps for their arms, almost barefoot, very small quantity of serviceable powder on hand, and in want of clothing, I took from the cargo of the schooner 20,000 percussion caps, 400 pounds of fine powder, the necessary shoes, 1 1/2 dozen flannel overshirts, and 2 pieces ditto; also-as the company of Captain Ware needed them-I took for them 15 double-barrel shot-guns and 3 five-shooters. Thereupon I obtained the requisite transportation, and forwarded the remainder of said cargo to Victoria, and sent all the cotton and tobacco on hand to its places of destination. There have been sent off from the 7th until date 421 bales of cotton, 500 bales of tobacco, also about 7,600 pounds of powder. If the enemy should be able to pay us a visit here he will not find anything worth plundering or carrying away. The records of the county and district clerk I have caused to be made ready for packing in chests made for the purpose, ready to be moved at a moment’s warning.

From the passengers referred to by Captain Neal as sent from on board the enemy’s bark, and whom I critically examined, assisted by Captain Ware, Lieutenant-Commanding George, and Mr. Robert Mott, late of New Orleans, and known as an able lawyer, we learned that the enemy’s forces did not number 125 men, all told, and that the men on the gunboat, cutter, and launches were supplied from the bark, leaving this latter with only about 20 men or less. Captain Kittredge is in command inside on board gunboat, which carries two 32-pounder Dahlgrens and one large caliber gun amidships. She was a pleasure yacht in New Orleans, built by Robinson, owned by Story, and lastly taken and fitted up by and for General Lovell, and brought out as one of the enemy’s trophies of war, about 125 tons burden, and about 6 feet draught of water. The cutter carries 30 oars, one 24-pounder howitzer, and is manned from the schooner. The greatest number of men ever seen on these vessels, including the prizes, does not exceed 87. The cotton taken by the enemy is piled, as before stated, on Saint Joseph’s Island, opposite Captain Johnson’s house. The conclusion as to the {p.612} prisoners was unanimous that Andres Roeg and wife were citizens of Matamoros, caught in New Orleans by the enemy on his taking possession, and that as a matter of kindness Captain Kittredge had carried them as passengers. But in relation to Mr. Cavaños, a doubt as to his true status and feelings was created, and hence I released the former two and detained the latter, to be sent to Colonel Luckett, whom he claims to be well and intimately acquainted with, for final disposition.

Owing to the information received as above-that from Captain Neal, the results of several reconnaissances, and reports brought in from various quarters as to the designs of the enemy and his expecting re-enforcements within a few weeks-I called the officers together for consultation and to decide as to what ought to be done to oppose and prevent the further encroachments of the enemy. It was unanimously decided-

1st. To send the gunboat General Bee, Capt. Thomas Harrison, with a picked crew, and the dispatch-boat Breaker, Capt. J. Harding, with a detachment from Captain Ireland’s company, to guard the ship channel.

2d. To obstruct the ship channel by sinking in the narrowest point such number of “come-at-able” vessels as were requisite, the vessels to be loaded with stone.

3d. To take possession of the schooner Elma and fit her for a gunboat at once, arm and man her, and place her at Corpus Christi Pass, to prevent the enemy’s cutters or launches to force [from forcing] an entrance to our bay from said point.

4th. To send 40 picked men, as well armed and mounted as possible, under a proper guide, and commanded by Lieut. W. Mann, around by the reef, avoiding the coast until above Lamar, and thence crossing to Saint Joseph’s Island, to burn and destroy the cotton taken by the enemy and piled at Johnson’s house in the night.

5th. To fit out an expedition by water, to make a feint upon the enemy at the Shell Bank, to divert his attention from Saint Joseph’s Island, while Lieutenant Mann’s forces attempt to destroy the cotton.

6th. To appoint Capt. John Dix to superintend and direct the arming, equipping, and fitting out of the vessels to be employed.

Under the second head the schooners Relief and Confederate, after appraisement, were taken, loaded with concrete, and sunk in the night unobserved by the enemy, and the sloop Iowa is now in like manner being loaded for the same purpose. These will effectually prevent the enemy’s gunboat from coming into Corpus Christi Bay through the ship channel. All the other heads have been acted on, and are either executed or in progress of execution. I inclose you slip from Captain Ware,** and will report final results as soon as possible. Captain Ware, with his party, attacked the enemy near the Shell Bank and drove him back, firing with rifles at 200 yards, and causing the enemy to seek shelter in the hold of his boat. The prize Bella Italia now fitted up by him as a small gunboat. There is no doubt that the Corpus [Christi] Pass is now blockaded by the prize-schooner Reindeer, and that the entrance thence must be guarded. I will see that the proper steps are taken for preventing a surprise. The cotton at the Flour Bluffs and the salt trade along the Laguna de la Madre are the objects sought by the enemy.

I trust that my action in the foregoing may meet with your approbation. Should it be otherwise I should feel much chagrined. I send you English paper and a New Orleans Delta of the 1st, in which see {p.613} an infamous special order from Butler in relation to Mrs. Philips. I have not had time to answer your letter in relation to McKinney. Ro lies basely if the messenger reports him correctly. I thank you for having taken notice of it, and will furnish proper refutation as soon as the present excitement is over.

I must not forget to say that all here is harmony and perfect union among all officers, men, and myself, and all vie with one another in zealously obeying orders.

In haste, very truly, yours,


General H. P. BEE, Comdg. Mil. Dist. of the Lower Rio Grande, San Antonio, Tex.

P. S.-I trust you will at once send Major Shea to assume command of the operations or return Captain Ireland.

* See p. 720.

** Not found.


No. 2.

Reports of Capt. Benjamin F. Neal, C. S. Army.


SIR: To-day, about 11 o’clock, the picket guard reported a launch coming down the cut toward the dredge-boat. I immediately ordered the company down, and observed that they were approaching the dredge under a flag of truce. I notified them to land on the opposite side of the channel, some 200 or 300 yards from the dredge, when I took a boat, accompanied by Captain Ware and Lieutenant Conklin, and went over to them. The interview lasted some half an hour. The officer, second in command I presume, stated that his object was to pass to Corpus Christi Cavaños and another Mexican gentleman and his lady, who was then at Saint Joseph’s Island. I consented that they should go down on board the Rebecca, and have given orders to Lieutenant Russell to carry them down and report them to you. I had no opportunity of asking or ascertaining how Cavaños got on board the bark, further than he was in [New] Orleans when that city was taken by the enemy. I therefore leave it for you to investigate the whole matter when they arrive in Corpus [Christi]. Sergeant Bradley has just arrived from Lamar, and says that the enemy held Captain Brown for the purpose of piloting the schooner down to Corpus Christi. They also say that Kittredge, who is in command of the expedition, stated at Lamar that 15,000 troops would be landed on Saint Joseph’s Island in a few weeks. I think that is only bombast. I have sent a party of men to Lamar to-night to burn the Monte Christo, as they are going up for her on Monday for the purpose of carrying out the cotton they have captured. I presume you can get more accurate information from Cavaños. I shall hold my position here until ordered or driven away.

Very respectfully,

BENJ. F. NEAL, Captain, Commanding Camp Aransas.




SIR: I received your note per Mr. Hooper, and willingly comply {p.614} with your request, believing that his services would be more valuable to the public interest in some other capacity. Mr. Hooper is truly patriotic and true to the Southern interest, and his services, considering his age, should be appreciated.

I committed an error in my letter of Sunday in stating that the officer with whom I had the interview was second in command. I misunderstood him. I have learned since he was only purser of the blockading squadron.

We have had some little excitement in camp to-day. For the purpose of obtaining better water I had to move my command nearer and in front of the enemy. This morning the Bella Italia, one of the captured boats, came into Shell Bank, and, from her movements, I supposed she was coming down the cut, but she only went down the Corpus Christi channel some 200 or 300 yards below the cut and returned. Shortly afterward the schooner got under way and took a position as near our camp as she could, and has been throwing shell occasionally ever since, but nothing has come near enough to us to create any apprehension. She is some 3 or 4 miles from us. She evidently had not given us the full strength of her guns, as I observe the fuse in every case was too short. What she may do hereafter can only be determined by future experiments. I intend to hold my position at this point until driven or ordered away, unless I deem it necessary to aid some other point. I must have more transportation to remove all of my guns and camp equipage, besides ammunition.

On yesterday the bark and captured schooner left and sailed up the coast. This morning the bark returned, but without the schooner. I was apprehensive she was going down toward Corpus Christi Pass, but I think she did not. If I observe her going down the coast I will send an express.

Very respectfully,

BENJ. F. NEAL, Captain, Comdg. Company of Artillery, Coast Defense.



AUGUST 10, 1862.–Affair on the Nueces River near Fort Clark, Tex.

Report of Lieut. C. D. McRae, Second Regiment Texas Mounted Rifles.

SAN ANTONIO, TEX., August 18, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, the result of a scout under my command, consisting of detachments from Captain Donelson’s company, Second Regiment Texas Mounted Rifles; Captain Duff’s company, Texas Partisan Rangers; Captain Davis’ company of State troops, and Taylor’s battalion; amounting in the aggregate to 94 men, rank and file.

I left camp on the morning of the 3d instant on the Perdinalis and proceeded up the South Fork of the Guadalupe River.

On the morning of the 6th instant struck the trail of a party of horsemen, numbering, as I suppose, from 60 to 100; pursued the trail in a southwesterly direction four consecutive days, and on the evening of the 9th instant, about 3 o’clock, my advance guard reported a camp in sight on the headwaters of the Western Fork of the Nueces River. I immediately diverged from the trail to the right, secreting my command {p.615} in a cañon about 2 1/2 miles from the enemy, and at once proceeded, in company with Lieutenants Homsley, Lilly, Harbour, and Bigham,to make a careful reconnaissance of the position of the enemy’s encampment, which we were fortunate enough in effecting without being discovered. Returned to camp, and proceeded to make my dispositions for an attack at daylight on the following morning.

Accordingly, at 1 o’clock that night, I moved my command to within 300 yards of their camp, where I divided my command into two equal divisions, placing one under the command of Lieutenant Homsley, whom I directed to take position on the right of the enemy, in the edge of a dense cedar-brake, about 50 yards from their camp, which he succeeded in doing without detection. In the mean time I had had equal success in obtaining another cedar-brake with my division within about 40 yards of the enemy, on their left. These movements were accomplished about an hour before daylight. Shortly after having secured our positions a sentinel on his rounds came near the position of Lieutenant Homsley’s division, which he had the misfortune to discover; whereupon he was shot dead by Lieutenant Harbour which caused an alarm in the enemy’s camp, and a few shots were exchanged between the parties, and all became quiet again for the space of half an hour, when another sentinel hailed us on the left, and shared the fate of the first. It being still too dark for the attack, I ordered my men to hold quietly their positions until daylight. The enemy in the mean time were actively engaged preparing to resist us. The moment it became light enough to see I ordered the attack to be made by a steady and slow advance upon their position, firing as we advanced until within about 30 paces of their line, when I ordered a charge of both divisions, which was executed in fine style, resulting in the complete rout and flight of the enemy.

They left on the field 32 killed. The remainder fled, scattering in all directions through the many dense cedar-brakes in the immediate vicinity. From the many signs of blood I infer many of those escaping were seriously wounded.

We captured 83 head of horses, 33 stand of small-arms, 13 six-shooters, and all their camp equipage, and provisions for 100 men for ten days. The arms I turned over to the commanding officer at Fort Clark. The horses are en route to this place. The provisions were consumed by my command.

Although the surprise and rout of the enemy was complete, I regret to state it was not unattended with loss on our part. We had 2 killed on the field and 18 wounded.

The fight occurred about 20 miles north of Fort Clark, to which point I sent for assistance, both surgical and transportation, for my wounded, which was promptly forwarded by the commanding officer, Captain Carolan, and Assistant Surgeon Downs, to whom I am greatly indebted for many kind attentions to myself and command, as also to Mr. D. H. Brown. My wounded are all well provided for and are doing well.

I have learned from one of the party whom we fought, captured some four or five days subsequent to the fight, that the party was composed of 63 Germans, 1 Mexican, and 5 Americans (the latter running the first fire), all under the command of a German by the name of Fritz Tegner. They offered the most determined resistance and fought with desperation, asking no quarter whatever; hence I have no prisoners to report.

My officers and men all behaved with the greatest coolness and gallantry, {p.616} seeming to vie with each other in deeds of daring chivalry. It would be invidious to attempt to draw any distinctions when all did their part most nobly and gloriously.

Inclosed find a list of killed and wounded of each company* I remain, with great respect, your obedient servant,

C. D. MCRAE, First Lieut., Second Regt. Texas Mounted Rifles, Comdg. Scout.

Maj. E. F. GRAY, A. A. A. G., Sub-Military District of the Rio Grande

* Not found.


AUGUST 11, 1862.–Affair at Velasco, Tex.

Report of Col. J. Bates, Thirteenth Texas Regiment.

HEADQUARTERS BATES’ REGIMENT, Velasco, Tex., August 16, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report operations at this post, resulting in a collision with the enemy, on the afternoon of the 11th instant:

About 4 p.m. of that day a screw-propeller of about 800 tons burden two-masted, and marked with a figure 5 on her smoke-stack, steamed slowly in from the eastward, and when opposite the battery at this place, immediately outside the bar, opened fire, without showing colors or giving any notice of her intentions. Her fire was promptly responded to, and after firing four times and receiving five shots from us she drew out of range and disappeared down the coast. It is believed that our third shot took effect. We sustained no damage. A 13-inch shell, which failed to explode, was picked up by our men. One other shell exploded in our camp; the others went overhead and struck some distance out in the prairie. I am confident that if we had had even a single piece of heavy ordnance she could have been disabled. Of late the vessels which pass here have been coming much nearer the shore than formerly. This may result from their having adopted more hostile intentions, but I think it is due in part from a knowledge (how acquired I know not) of our defenseless condition. A late freshet in the Brazos River has considerably deepened the water on the bar at the mouth. Vessels are constantly receiving permits to proceed to sea from this port, and lie in the river above awaiting a favorable opportunity to run the blockade, and a well-sustained attack from the sea might well result in great loss both to Government and individuals.

Allow me to respectfully urge upon your consideration that there are quite a number of heavy pieces of ordnance now in this department dismounted and not in use, which, if placed in battery here, could defend my position and our foreign trade, and save my command from this now constant source of annoyance, which, although as yet resulting in no damage, might at any time become fraught with humiliation and disaster. I have but one 18-pounder gun in battery at this place. I ask, if compatible with the interests of the service, a 32 rifled cannon, a 64-pounder, or both. If granted, they will do good service ere long, should we continue to be menaced and insulted by our vaunting foe.


If they are needed at more important points they can be promptly forwarded.

Very respectfully,

J. BATES, Colonel, Commanding.

Capt. C. M. MASON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, San Antonio, Tex.


AUGUST 12, 1862.–Capture of the Breaker and destruction of the Hannah in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas.


No. 1.–Capt. John Harding, of the capture of the Breaker.
No. 2.–Capt. Jack Sands, of the destruction of the Hannah.

No. 1.

Report of Capt. John Harding, of the capture of the Breaker.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEX., August 27, 1862.

On the evening of August 11 I was directed by Maj. A. M. Hobby to take on board of the Breaker Captain Jones and a party of men from his battalion. On Captain Jones, accompanied by Lieutenant Vinyard and party, coming on board, he informed me that he was sent in charge of the boat for the purpose of watching the movements of the enemy, then engaged in removing the obstructions in the channel. Got under way and proceeded to McGloin’s Bluffs, where we anchored for the night.

Next morning got under way and stood down in the direction of the enemy; discovered them at work on the obstructions; stood down about three-quarters of a mile of them, took a look, came around, and stood back about a quarter of a mile and came to anchor. Just as we came to, discovered that they had removed the last of the obstructions. Their large schooner made all sail and stood up the channel. I immediately got under way and made all sail for Corpus Christi. Soon discovered that the enemy were overhauling us, and thought it best to make for the nearest shore (Indian Point), being about 6 miles distant. Just after passing McGloin’s Bluffs they commenced firing on us, and continued to do so until the boat was beached and this party landed from her. I gave orders to have the boat fired some time before she was beached, knowing that at the rate she was sailing no injury could result to the party on board; but there was a clamor raised against me by the officers on board, who told me that Major Hobby gave them the command of the boat, and that they would not allow her to be fired until she was beached. A few minutes before she struck she was set on fire, and all of the party left as fast as they could, leaving me alone on board. I did everything that I could think of to aid in her destruction, but the enemy were too close after me and I had to leave, as I would have been killed or captured by staying longer. The enemy sent a boat alongside, put out the fire, and towed her off.





No. 2.

Report of Capt. Jack Sands, of the destruction of the Hannah.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEX., August 27, 1862.

A few days before the arrival of the enemy at this place I solicited Maj. A. M. Hobby to allow me to get my boat to a place of safety in Nueces Bay, there being at the time plenty of water on the reef for her to get over. He said that he wanted the Hannah and the Breaker to remain at this place as spy boats, but assured me that none of the larger boats should attempt to cross the reef before mine. Accordingly I remained at the wharf.

On the afternoon of August 12, when the enemy were in full sight, distant about 7 miles of the town, I was ordered to get over the Nueces Reef with all speed. Got under way immediately and stood for the reef. The Elma, or Major Minter, had been run into the channel the previous day, where she grounded, leaving only a narrow place for vessels to pass. On arriving off the reef discovered that she had been fired, and seemed to be on fire fore and aft. Hearing that she had powder on board, did not like to attempt to pass her. An explosion would have killed us all. Came around and stood back for the town, intending to run on the flats, where the boat could have been hauled out and been safe from capture, but was ordered back, and the boat was run on shore above the town on a bold bank. Major Hobby said that he would send men to haul her out, a thing that was impossible without ways, as the bank at that place was at least 4 feet in height. A party of 15 unarmed men came down and were at work on her, when the enemy came abreast of the boat and fired a shot at the party. They all immediately left. The enemy then came to anchor, distant about 400 yards, and commenced manning a boat. Fearing that they would cut her out, I immediately fired her and she was consumed.




AUGUST 16-18, 1862.–Bombardment of Corpus Christi, Tex.


No. 1.–Brig. Gen. Hamilton P. Bee, C. S. Army.
No. 2.–Maj. A. M. Hobby, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Hamilton P. Bee, C. S. Army.

HDQRS. SUB-MIL. DIST. OF THE RIO GRANDE, Corpus Christi, Tex., August 21, 1862.

SIR: I reached this place yesterday, and have the honor to report that I find all things quiet. The enemy attacked the town on Saturday and again on Monday, firing between 200 and 300 shell and shot. They were bravely resisted by our forces, and after being struck a number of times by the shot from our battery (which was planted during the night of Friday) he was forced to retire, we believe in a crippled condition.

On Tuesday morning the enemy left, and is now lying at his old anchorage near the Shell Bank. His return is looked for, as his discomfiture {p.619} was a source of great mortification. A more full report will be forwarded at an early day. The damage to the town is inconsiderable. We had but 1 man killed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE, Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.

Capt. C. M. MASON, A. A. A. G., Dept. of Texas, San Antonio, Tex.


HDQRS. SUB-MIL. DIST. OF THE RIO GRANDE, Corpus Christi, Tex., August 26, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I proceeded to within 4 miles of the anchorage of the fleet of the enemy on yesterday, and, except witnessing the arrival of a large schooner from sea, found the fleet all quiet. There are now eight vessels of all sizes lying within the bar at Aransas Pass. It was impossible to ascertain anything about the new arrival. She seemed to be a large merchant schooner, probably loaded with supplies and men, but may be a mortar boat. I have sent a spy onto Mustang Island to ascertain her character and hope to report it for this mail.

There has been no movement by the enemy since their repulse from this place. The steamer was much injured, as her steam-pumps were heard during the day and night she consumed in passing through the canal. I examined the Shell Bank and found that it would be untenable even if cannon could be placed on it, which, from its proximity to the fleet and in full view of them, would be impossible, it being 3 miles from water and the guns of the enemy covering its approach; nor is there any other point adjacent to the canal on which guns can be erected, owing to the low, marshy approaches; therefore all hopes of defending the narrow bayou and canal must be abandoned. The obstructions placed there proved no obstacle, as with the steam-power of their boat they were easily removed. I am making another effort to sink more permanent obstructions, which, if successful, will prevent at least any sudden attack, but if unsuccessful forces me to rely on the naturally-strong position of this place for its defense. The battery used in the late fight on the north side of the town was thrown up by General Taylor in 1845, of shell and sand, which, being solid and impenetrable to 32-pound shot, has proved an admirable defense. Another work of similar character is now complete on the south side of the town, both being on the water’s edge. I shall at once erect another on the bluff overlooking the water batteries, and distant, say, 400 yards, which, completed, will be all that can be done.

I found great confusion existing in the quartermaster’s, commissary, and ordnance departments here, owing to the inexperience of the officers, and deeming it indispensable for the public interest, I have appointed H. A. Gilpin, who distinguished himself in the late engagement and is a man of experience and business habits, to act as quartermaster and commissary at this point, subject to the approval of the general commanding, and respectfully request that the appointment may be confirmed. I have also appointed (subject to like approval) F. Blucher, major of Engineers, and charged him with the erection of the necessary defenses of this place. He is a nephew of Marshal Blucher, and an educated soldier, and as civil engineer has resided many years {p.620} at this place. The services of Major Blucher were indispensable and the rank was temporarily given him to facilitate his labors. With great satisfaction I tendered to Mr. William Mann the position of captain of artillery, vacated by the declension of Captain Livenskiold. This mark of my appreciation for his gallant services I felt satisfied would meet the approval of the general commanding. But he declines the commission, owing to the shattered state of his health from exposure at Island No. 10; but he accepts the position temporarily, and will command his battery until this emergency passes over, when he will retire.

Captain Willke’s battery of light artillery, from Ringgold Barracks, will be here to-morrow. His guns are four 12 and two 24 pounder howitzers, and will add materially to our defenses, but the fact of his company being well-drilled artillerists is the most pleasant reflection attending his arrival. A delay of a few more days on the part of the enemy (which seems probable) will enable me to meet him with satisfactory results.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE, Brig. Gen., Prov. Army, Comdg. Sub-Mil. Dist. of the Rio Grande.

Capt. C. M. MASON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Texas.


HDQRS. SUB-MIL. DIST. OF THE RIO GRANDE, Corpus Christi, Tex., August 26, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose the official reports of Maj. A. M. Hobby, commanding this post, of the bombardment of Corpus Christi. It is with great satisfaction that I call the attention of the general commanding the Department of Texas to the judgment and gallantry of Major Hobby, as well as to the satisfactory manner in which he discharged his duty under the trying circumstances in which he was placed. The enemy brought into action seven pieces of heavy artillery, adapted to and using all the modern improvements in projectiles. Our force was two 18-pounder and one 12-pounder guns, manned by inexperienced artillerists, and supported by volunteers but a few days in the service; yet the furious fire of shot and shell by the enemy, after the first few rounds, served but to inspire the men, and their spirit and bravery are worthy of all praise.

After several hours of incessant fire on our little battery, without effect, a force of about 40 men, with a rifled gun, was landed on the beach about a mile from the battery (which, having but a water front, was not able to resist their approach), and slowly advancing, endeavoring to flank it, the three heavy gunboats being within 400 yards of the shore, covering their advance with a continuous fire of grape and canister. So completely did the guns of the boats cover their approach that the advancing force may fairly be considered as equal to two batteries of 24 and 32 pounders. To charge through such a formidable fire seemed hopeless; yet, when almost within musket-range of the battery, Major Hobby led a charge of 25 men and put the marines to flight. At this moment Captain Ware’s fine company of cavalry came dashing into the plain, and but for the peremptory order from Major Hobby in person would in another moment have cut them to pieces and captured their gun; but, when it is considered that this charge would have been made through a flank fire of heavy guns, loaded with grape and canister, at 400 yards distance, and must have resulted in the sacrifice {p.621} of most of the men, I approve of the order of Major Hobby in restraining them, considering the object to be gained as not commensurate with the almost certain loss.

It is due to Captain Ware and his command to say that, with all its probable consequences, they were not only ready for the work and actually under fire, but were bitterly disappointed at losing the opportunity thus presented.

Foiled in all his plans, the enemy vented his spleen on the defenseless houses of the town for a short time and then withdrew, with his fleet badly crippled, but with what loss we have no means of knowing. Between 400 and 500 shot and shell were fired by the enemy.

One man killed and 1 wounded constitute the casualties among our troops. Major Hobby was struck on the head by a glancing ball, which inflicted but a slight wound. A great many houses in the town were struck, but the damage is slight.

Too much praise cannot be given to the patriotic citizens of Corpus Christi. They removed out into the woods with their families out of fire, and in tents and under trees calmly and confidently awaited the result. They have suffered many inconveniences and privations, especially for want of water, as the drought of this section has been unprecedented, yet they have set a laudable example to their countrymen and added another to the many instances of patriotism which this war has elicited. It is worthy of remark that the citizens of the surrounding counties, for a distance of 100 miles, attracted by the fire of the cannon, with their rifles in hand, repaired to the scene and tendered their services to the commanding officer, demonstrating that when the emergency arises their country can depend on them.

The defenses of the town have been materially strengthened and heavier guns added to the batteries, and should the enemy renew the attack I feel confident of reporting equally as successful a result.

The attention of the general commanding is specially called to the service rendered by Mr. William Mann a young gentleman of this place, who, having served at Belmont, Columbus, and Island No. 10, brought all the experience of those well-fought fields to the assistance of his native city, and materially contributed by his gallantry and skill to the discomfiture of our enemies.

Major Buckner, a citizen of Corpus Christi, but an experienced soldier from the Old World, rendered useful service.

Judge H. A. Gilpin, chief justice of Nueces County, was much exposed, and rendered good service, as did many other citizens of the town.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE, Brig. Gen., Prov. Army, Comdg. Sub-Mil. Dist. of the Rio Grande.

Capt. C. M. MASON, A. A. A. U., Department of Texas.


No. 2.

Reports of Maj. A. M. Hobby, C. S. Army.

HDQRS. SUB-MIL. DIST. CORPUS CHRISTI AND ARANSAS, Corpus Christi, Tex., August 16, 1862.

SIR: In my communication of yesterday I reported the arrival of four Federal vessels in Corpus Christi Bay, they having removed the obstruction {p.622} placed in the ship channel-the yacht Corypheus, Reindeer, Bella Italia, and steam gunboat. The yacht appeared off Ingleside at 4 p.m., chasing the Breaker, a pilot-boat in the Confederate service, which was just returning from a reconnoitering expedition, with a detachment of men under Capt. R. E. Jones. To prevent her capture by the enemy she was run on shore at Indian Point, and the reconnoitering party effected their escape. The Breaker was fired some distance from shore, but unfortunately not in time to prevent her from falling into the hands of the enemy, who extinguished the flames. Eleven shots were fired at her during the chase. The Breaker is a small boat carrying a crew of 3 men. The yacht then steered for Corpus Christi, standing close along the shore, and fired a shot at a detachment of Captain McCampbell’s company, hauling a boat upon the beach. She came to anchor opposite the city, and was joined during the night by the remainder of the fleet.

At 9 o’clock this morning Captain Kittredge, in a launch, approached the wharf with a flag of truce, at which point I met him. He informed me that he had been ordered by the United States Government to examine the public buildings in the city and make an official report of their condition. I informed him that the United [States] Government owned no property in Corpus Christi, and that he should not be allowed to land. He replied that it was his prerogative to land when and where he pleased, under what he called the national ensign. I told him the Confederate Government recognized no such right, and I was here to prevent him from placing his foot upon our soil. He then desired to accompany me ashore or go alone under a white flag. Every proposition to land, under whatever pretext, was peremptorily rejected. He then demanded that the women and children should be removed beyond the limits of the town in twenty-four hours, as he intended to land with a force and execute his orders. I demanded forty-eight hours, which was finally agreed upon. He requested that the matter again be taken into consideration. The second interview resulted as did the first. One of the conditions of the armistice was that the forty-eight hours be exclusively devoted to the removal of the families from town, which I strictly complied with.

On the evening of the 15th the Federal fleet took position opposite the northern suburbs of the city in line of battle, within range from the shore. Immediately after dark I planted a battery of two guns (a 12 and 18 pounder) behind a strong fortification near the water’s edge, and supported it by a detachment from Captain Ireland’s company and my battalion, they furnishing also an extra detachment to move the guns.

At daylight on the 16th we opened on the enemy. Six shots were fired at the fleet before they replied. The enemy shelled the battery and the town furiously, doing, however, but little damage. At 9 o’clock we drove him from his position. Beyond the reach of our guns he repaired damages and mended sails rent by our shot. At 3 o’clock he again returned, and when within reach of our battery it opened on him, striking both yacht and steamer, and compelled them to withdraw beyond the reach of our guns. They contented themselves with shelling the battery during the remainder of the day.

Mr. William Mann volunteered his services in the battery, and I placed him in charge of the guns. By his coolness, courage, and judgment he elicited the admiration of all, and I herein acknowledge the value of his services in our gallant attack upon the enemy’s boasted gunboats. With guns of inferior caliber and a smaller force than their own they were twice driven from their position, and resulted in their discomfiture. Five shots were seen to do execution. The enemy fired 296 times.


The casualties on our side were inconsiderable. Private Steiner, of Captain Ireland’s company, was slightly wounded in head by a spent ball. To Judge Gilpin and Major Blucher I am indebted for valuable services. To-night all is quiet. We do not need more troops.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. M. HOBBY, Major, Commanding.

Maj. E. F. GRAY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, San Antonio, Tex.


HEADQUARTERS, Corpus Christi, Tex., August 18, 1862.

SIR: On the morning of the 18th the enemy again opened on our battery, bringing his whole force to bear on it. Failing to silence our guns, a portion of his fleet withdrew and landed a 12-pounder rifled gun, supported by 30 or 40 well-armed men, who approached our battery by the beach, close under cover of their gunboats, firing continuously. They attempted to enfilade our battery, their balls passing just above our intrenchments. I immediately ordered 25 men to charge the gun, which they did in gallant style. When from under cover of the breastworks they entered an open plain and rapidly neared the gun, the gunboats of the enemy opened a heavy fire upon them. Undaunted they pressed onward, and when within range of small-arms I ordered them to fire, which they did, still advancing, the enemy in the mean time retreating in double-quick, carrying with them their gun. They left in the retreat their ammunition-box, hatchet, rat-tail files, (intended, I presume, to spike our guns); a hat and rifle-cartridges were scattered along the road. We chased them to their gunboats, to which they retreated without delay. Whenever a ball from the battery would strike the boats of the enemy they would rise and cheer, regardless of the fire to which they were exposed. The enemy withdrew, and taking position in front of the city, avenged themselves upon a few unoffending houses. A few shots from our guns drove them off and on the following morning stood away for Aransas Pass.

Our loss in the engagement was one killed-Private Henry Mote, in Capt. R. E. Jones’ company. He was shot through the head among the foremost in the charge. Captain Ware’s fine cavalry company was present and eager for the fray.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. M. HOBBY, Major, Commanding.

Maj. E. F. GRAY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Corpus Christi, Tex.


SEPTEMBER 13-14, 1862.–Operations at Flour Bluffs, near Corpus Christi, Tex.


No. 1.–Brig. Gen. Hamilton P. Bee, C. S. Army.
No. 2.–Maj. E. F. Gray, C. S. Army.
No. 1.–Capt. John Ireland, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Hamilton P. Bee, C. S. Army.

HDQRS. SUB-MIL. DIST. OF THE RIO GRANDE, San Antonio, Tex., September 24, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that Lieutenant Kittredge, commanding United States fleet in the waters of Aransas Bay, arrived at Corpus Christi under a flag of truce on the 12th instant, asking permission to convey the family of E. J. Davis, a renegade traitor of Texas, to New Orleans. Maj. E. F. Gray, commanding at that post, received the flag, and refusing to allow Mrs. Davis to comply with the request until permission should be received from headquarters, notified Lieutenant Kittredge that ten days would elapse before an answer could be given; whereupon Lieutenant Kittredge withdrew, and proceeded down the bay some 15 miles toward the salt-works, on the Laguna de la Madre. On the same night Major Gray dispatched Captain Ireland, with 50 men and one piece of artillery, to watch his proceedings, accompanied by Captain Ware, of the cavalry. Captain Ireland posted a portion of his men under Captain Ware at a vacated house near the shore, and within a short distance of where it was known that the fleet of the enemy was anchored for the night, the piece of artillery being well masked in the sand hills.

Early in the ensuing morning the enemy shelled the houses and surrounding points for some time; then, the ground being apparently unoccupied, Lieutenant Kittredge, accompanied by 7 men, landed and approached the house. Our men being concealed, the adventurous lieutenant fell gracefully into the trap set for him, and, with his whole party, were taken prisoners. The report of Captain Ireland of this well-conceived and successful plan is herewith inclosed for the information of the general commanding.

It is worthy of note that as soon as the gunboats of the enemy became aware of the fate of their officer they opened a rapid fire of shell and grape on the command, which fell alike on soldiers and prisoners, but without damage to either.

Maj. E. F. Gray immediately forwarded Lieutenant Kittredge, under escort of Major Hobby, to this place, where he arrived on the 20th instant, and having given his parole, now awaits the order of the general commanding. The 7 seamen are also en route to this place.

It gives me great satisfaction to announce this creditable sequel of the defense of Corpus [Christi] by the capture of the bold and energetic leader of the enemy, and the end of the campaign for the present, as the fleet have all retired to their usual place of anchorage near Aransas Bar.

It is also proper to state that the course of Lieutenant Kittredge, while for many months in command on our coast, has been that of an {p.625} honorable enemy, and as such he is entitled to the consideration due to his situation by the terms of civilized warfare.

With great respect,

H. P. BEE, Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.

Brig. Gen. P. O. HÉBERT, Commanding Department of Texas.


HDQRS. SUB-MIL. DIST. OF THE RIO GRANDE, San Antonio, Tex., September 26, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to forward to the general commanding the Department of Texas a flag of the enemy, captured by a detachment of Confederate troops under command of Captain Ireland, on the waters of the Corpus Christi Bay.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. P. BEE, Brigadier-General.

Capt. O. M. MASON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, San Antonio, Tex.


No. 2.

Report of Maj. E. F. Gray, C. S. Army.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEX., September 16, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the expedition under Capt. John Ireland, of which I notified you in my last communication, has returned to this place successful. Inclosed I forward a copy of his official report, which will explain itself. I request that the special recommendations contained in his report may be considered as my own, without a repetition, as I am firmly satisfied they are merited.

Major Hobby has been directed to accompany Lieutenant Kittredge to San Antonio and to be governed by your further directions. The other prisoners will be forwarded to-morrow with an escort. I inclose you Lieutenant Kittredge’s parole.* I have informed him that he would be forwarded across the lines without delay. I would most respectfully request that my assurance may be complied with, or, rather, verified; yet he understands that everything remains subject to your decision. After his capture I communicated with his vessels under a flag of truce for the purpose of obtaining wearing apparel for him and for his men, which has been done. I consented that the vessels should approach and retire under a flag of truce.

Everything is progressing here to my satisfaction, and I hope to send you additional good news ere long. I will write again by mail.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. F. GRAY, Major, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. H. P. BEE Comdg. Sub-Mil. Dist. of the Rio Grande, San Antonio, Tex.

* Omitted



No. 3.

Report of Capt. John Ireland, C. S. Army.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEX., September 15, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to your orders I left Corpus Christi at 8 p.m. on the 13th instant. I took with me one small piece of Captain Willke’s battery, under Lieutenant Johnson, a detachment of 50 men from my own company, and Capt. J. A. Ware. I proceeded to Flour Bluffs, 15 miles south of this place. Arrived there at 1.30 o’clock same night. I took two positions within half a mile of the enemy’s gunboats, three in number. At one place I stationed Captain Ware with a detachment of 20 men, and the other I occupied with the remainder of my force. The positions were selected with a view of commanding the channel leading to [Point] Penascal and of cutting off any force that might attempt to land. After throwing a number of shells at some unoffending citizens on shore the enemy landed, which he effected near the point where Captain Ware was posted. When the enemy were within musket-range Captain Ware advanced, and without firing a gun captured the party, consisting of Captain Kittredge, commanding blockading fleet off this coast, and 7 of his men. This occurred at 11 o’clock of the 14th.

It now being certain that they would not then attempt to enter Laguna de la Madre, and there being nothing further that I could accomplish by remaining, the line of march was resumed for this place. The enemy then threw some 40 or 50 shells, but without effect. I also captured 8 stand of arms-Enfield rifles, Colt’s six-shooters, and 2 cutlasses.

I take great pleasure in calling your attention to the efficient service and gallant conduct of Captain Ware, who obeyed orders with alacrity and executed them with great judgment. I desire also to call your attention to the gallantry of Private William Saffold, who in person captured Captain Kittredge. I have also to acknowledge valuable services rendered by four of Captain Ware’s cavalry as guides.

The enemy’s boats immediately left the bay.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

JNO. IRELAND, Captain, Commanding Expedition.

Maj. E. F. GRAY, Commanding.


Main TitleThe War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.
Corporate NameUnited States. War Department.
Published/Created[S.l.], L.McKee and C.G. Robertson, 1859.
ContentsSer. I. v. 1-53 [serial no. 1-111] Formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the southern states, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, order and returns relating specially thereto. 1880-1898. 111 v.--ser. II. v. 1-8 [serial no. 114-121] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns, Union and Confederate, relating to prisoners of war and to state or political prisoners. 1894 [i.e. 1898]-1899. 8 v.--ser. III. v. 1-5 [serial no. 122-126] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns of the Union authorities (embracing their correspondence with the Confederate officials) note relating specially to the subjects of the first and second series. It embraces the reports of the Secretary of War, of the general-in-chief and of the chiefs of the several staff corps and departments ... 1899-1900. 5 v.--ser. IV. v. 1-3 [serial no. 127-129] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns of the Confederate authorities, similar to that indicated for the Union officials, as of the third series, but including the correspondence between the Union and Confederate authorities given in that series. 1900. 3 v.--[serial no. 130] General index and additions and corrections. Mr. John S. Moodey, indexer. Preface [by Elihu Root, Secretary of War]. Explanations. Synopsis of the contents of volumes. Special index for the principal armies, army corps, military divisions and departments. General index. Additions and corrections [arranged consecutively by volumes]. 1901.